Aaarghhh!!! I bloody well hate Google’s new predictive search results thingy (aka Google Instant). Why Google? Why? What have your loyal users done to you?

Why do you wish to punish us? Why have you taken something that worked and made it into something that doesn’t? Why, given the groundswell of opinion (for I know I am not alone in this), have you not changed it back?

What’s So Bad About It?

Well, how about the way my screen freezes up whilst I’m typing? Which in turn causes missing letters if I type fast as its too busy refreshing to acknowledge my keypress. And the fact that it is actually now slower to show results? Plus the other irritating new feature that when you use your cursor key now, instead of whizzing down the screen quickly so someone who knows what they’re doing can quickly scan the results, it steps slowly through the results one at a time.

But the all time most unforgivable thing about it is the most obvious: The fact that I never ever want the results for half the word or phrase I’m typing, because if I did…, I’d only be typing half the word or phrase in the first place!!!

An Example

Let’s look at a fairly typical example. I’m sat at work and I want to find somebody local who supplies workwear and other clothing embroidered with my company logo or slogan, so I set off typing “Embroidered Workwear Lancaster” into Google.

  • Em – pulls up Empire Magazine. A movie magazine with film reviews? Er, no thanks…
  • Emb– brings up Embarassing Bodies. A TV show examining problems with people’s privates? Can I wear them to work? Noooo!!
  • Embr – gives me Embrace. An English Indie band? Some cool tunes, but not really what I’m after..
  • Embro – gives me a Wikipedia definition for Embroidery. Well, we’re getting nearer, but I already know what it is thanks. Now I know about it’s origins too. Great, but if I had wanted that I would have typed “What is Embroidery” or “Definition Embroidery” or maybe “History of Embroidery”?
  • Embroidered – firstly gives me a screen freeze, then Logos 4 Polos. Well, that is what I want, but I want someone local who I can go and talk to about my needs…
  • Embroidered W – gives me another supplier, but not local…
  • Embroidered Workwear – and another…
  • Embroidered Workwear L – sighs… and another…
  • Embroidered Workwear La – one more…
  • Embroidered Workwear Lan – another…
  • Embroidered Workwear Lanc – hey, guess what…
  • Embroidered Workwear Lancast – and eventually…

Wahoo!! At last!! The thing that I was searching for: Embroidered Workwear in Lancaster

And it only took me two less keypresses than if I’d had to type it in full, along with 11 pointless screen refreshes and a screen freeze. Now, had I been typing quickly that screen freeze would have caused me to miss characters so it would have taken longer.

And that in essence is the point. It does take longer! And what’s good about that?

So Google, Please Take Note

If you’re going to introduce new features to the world’s most popular search engine, why not try them as an “opt in” feature rather than alienating your user base and driving them elsewhere?

But more importantly, sometimes just because a thing can be done, doesn’t mean it should be. This feature sounds lovely as a concept and I’m sure it was, but in reality it is a steaming pile of bovine droppings! 2/10. See teacher after class. Do not pass go!

In Conclusion

Well, I’m still going to use Google as even despite these glitches it remains the best option available… For now?

Okay, all I have to decide now is whether to be formal and wear a shirt, less formal and get an embroidered polo shirt or go casual with a printed t-shirt.

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