Web 2.0 Summit Takeaway – Google Insight

I am due to write up my adventures at the Web 2.0 Summit. That is on the way very soon, as well as a post about StartUp Camp. In the meantime, I wanted to share something you may have seen on the FreshBooks blog:

“One of my favourite takeaways from the Web 2.0 Summit was Marissa’s presentation about something she learned working at Google. She ran a survey and Google users told her they wanted 30 results in the Google search results page. She delivered thirty results in the results pages and then watched as users ran from Google faster than she could say, “What happened?”

At first she did not know why they left. In time she came to realize page load times – an extra half second to download the extra HTML required to display 30 results – was what drove people away. So, in a word, slowness drove them away. Looking at things from the other direction, the results indicated that speed keeps users coming back to Google.

To explain the significance of this, I created some graphics (which are NOT based on data):

How goolge does it

See the difference in approach? Yahoo! tries to get you to stay as long as they can get you to stay on Yahoo! properties. Google wants you to visit and leave their site as quickly as possible, the idea being that the positive experience you have with Google will keep you coming back more frequently (i.e. you do more searches). And guess what? Every time you return Google gets another chance to monetize you…and Google monetizes about 30% of the searches people make. Impressed? I was. Thanks for sharing Marissa.”

Usability Thoughts if you are Interested

I’ve sort of been on fire at the FreshBooks blog today. Here are some posts you might want to have a look at…both usability centic.

Breaking Conventions For Better Usability
“We are doing something slightly different in the new release. We are dropping the text size of the bolded words (they are still useful for contextual reference within the page) and leaving the plain text (i.e. the useful content) larger. It looks like this (see the Green box)…”

“I love my I pod…for the most part I like iTunes software, but why on earth can’t Apple figure out how to do software updates painlessly? They want to make me go to their site, download the update and install the new version. WTF. Can’t they figure out how ask me if I want the upgrade, then do this in the background without bothering me?”

Both posts have photos. Use the links if you want to see them.

Off to Web 2.0 Next Week

Was invited to Web 2.0 in the spring and I decided to attend.  I was just running through the opaquely presented schedule….lots will be happening…so far deciding what workshops to attend has been fairly easy…in any given workshop slot there are about six workshops…four of which are sponsored and smelling incredibly lame. That rules four out and makes my decisions easier.  I’m looking forward to seeing Paul Kedrosky talk about data and what not in Enterprise 2.0…something that is close to home.

If you are going to be there and would like to meet up, drop me a line.