• http://Andy Andy

    Very interesting artilce and interview- thanks for that.

    Me and my wfe have often clashed at how the other uses Google to sort information. I get frustrated as she can’t find the infomration we need within 5 minutes and I can finf any required information within 30 seconds.

    I think my brain almost has a Google Algorithm hard wired in with the amount I use it these days :)

  • quill

    Just to use a mobile phone (cellphone) adequately, the user has to carry the phone’s architecture in his mind. All the more so when negotiating anything on the web.

    As web usability authors have said, the web is a bit like trying to negotiate a department store without knowing or being able to see how many floors, corridors, rooms, etc. there are.

    So it is not surprising that as a person becomes more adept at negotiating the web, the department store in his brain becomes more complex and continues to grow.

    Trawl Google images for ‘Mekon’ for a glimpse of the future .

  • someone

    I’m not at all surprised at these findings really.
    My mum is a new internet user, and when she uses Google, she’ll concentrate on typing the search term, and then start reading from the top, looking at the results.
    She’ll click the first link, and start reading.

    For me, there’s a lot more decision making involved.
    I first make a decision about which search term I should use to get the best results, and then I need to filter the results, deciding on the usefulness of each one.
    These decisions are based on earlier experiences and prior knowledge.
    - earlier experiences (decide not to click the expertsexchange results for example)
    - resident information (I read that page 3 weeks ago and it didn’t give the answer then)
    - reliability judgement (is this domain likely to be reliable, is it stored in my mental database of reliable sources, or do I expect a page with intrusive popups and possibly viruses?

    Compare it to those awful animal experiments. I bet that if you give a puppy food, it will only use the part of the brain that goes ‘ha! food!’.
    Now give that puppy a series of meals where bad food is in blue containers, and good food is in red containers, but not always, and sometimes it’s the shape of the container that indicates what type of food is in it, and sometimes it’s the decoration on it, but again, not always in the same way, and you’ll see this puppy activate a lot more braincells when you give him food.

    Now, if there would be a limited amount of indications for the puppy to figure out what type of food is in the container, then over time, the brain activity would diminish. Much the same as with learning how to drive. The set of traffic rules and signs is limited. However, the internet is an ever growing and changing source of information, and the indications that tell you what is good and what is bad, also keep changing. We’ll only need more brain power to make all the necessary decisions on which search results can be expected to be useful, and which aren’t.