Just contributed to a Webmasteworld thread, 1/4">http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/3603256.htm]1/4 of all users cannot do a Google search - sparked by a finding reported by web usability guru Jakob Nielsen, Bridging">http://www.useit.com/alertbox/designer-user-differences.html]Bridging the Designer–User Gap.
My posts (didn't mention my dad not having figured re URL address bar etc - there were plenty of similar anecdotes in the thread):
Like, say, each webmasterworld member adding page on basics re how to use web to websites? [Where to put this so most users may not see/notice? Could be nifty if links only appear when someone visits thro an odd search; but I dunno how to do this.] Or google, yahoo, msn could check for quirky searches of example.com sort, and results lists could include v brief info on searching etc. A very little like google will suggest alternative spellings when typos suggested.
- elicited zero interest, so then:
So education not just useful, but required, and webmasterworld members aren't the ones to do it.
Google/yahoo/msn might consider something like giving random tips on pages; and a "want more tips?" link.
The famously slim google main page seems, then, ok only if you actually know what google is and how to use it - an assumption that's clearly wrong for substantial nos of people. In another thread, see re google use maybe levelling off - having no obvious instructions is a reason.
was a reply mentioning this, and I posted:
"Arguably, the more complexity there is on a page the more likely it is that people will become confused."
Agreed, which is why I suggested random tips, with link to more tips/info. Another way might be v basic info, and more on mouseover: google bods can surely come up w something; maybe in past, aiming for people who used search engines like excite - not that I can remember if they had how to info!
Less is more, but nothing is nothing.
Really, though, seems to me this is a discussion that shouldn't even be taking place. Google should have this issue nailed, and instead should be chance for thread on how superbly google blends minimalism with usability - for techies and non-techies alike. Meanwhile, other search engines may take note: search results matter; but could be value in having friendlier approach.