Small interaction design improvement for Google

mon12feb2007—07w043d11%— 10h28m00s—0utc

With surely hordes of brilliant interaction designers being paid top dog to scour Google’s interface beyond dizziness, it’s truly hard to point something in it that could be outright, unambiguously improved. And it’s a good thing they put so much effort in it — Google has such scale that even the tiniest improvement could, on aggregate, save millions of man hours. (A recent story made the point dramatically by calculating that if Google used a black background it would save some 750 megawatt-hours per year.)

With this frame of mind, it surprised me today to find out what I believe is a clear improvement — a tiny, puny, mini one, but still. You see, when you quote a phrase in Google (and in most any other search engine) you specify that you want results with only that exact phrase. This can easily be too stringent and so Google helpfully suggests you to remove the quotes whenever you get very few (or no) results. The problem is it only suggests with plain text…

…when it could easily suggest with hypertext (linking, of course, to the unquoted search; similar to the way spelling suggestions are linked to the search for the correct spelling).

I wish some Googler sees this…

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