January 26, 2022

Google's Usability Chief On Ideas Having to Be Discoverable and Use "Control F"

In a New Scientist article, Google’s Dan Russell talks about his job, discoverability of ideas, and more. Dan also mentions a super interesting fact that we’ve heard from him before (it’s worth repeating) and something that many of us have shared during presentations for years, the POWER of the Control+F (find) feature. It’s one of MANY tools and techniques info pros can and should be sharing with our users. This is a great example of a tool that can be shared quickly with powerful and time saving results that are clearly visible from the first time it’s used.

Russell’s comment and findings about the Control+F feature also is a good reminder that many of the tools and techniques we use on a very regular basis are still unknown to many.

Here’s One Question and Answer from the Interview:

New Scientist: What findings surprised you the most?

Dan Russell: We have found that there are some surprisingly basic search techniques that people just don’t know about. I interviewed a bus driver who was searching for a transportation rule for a test. She was scrolling line-by-line through a 100-page web document, so I asked her why she didn’t use “control+F” to search by keyword. It turns out she didn’t know about this absolutely basic browser function. Amazed by this, we ran a survey that found 90 per cent of people don’t know about it.

Read the Complete Interview with Google’s Dan Russell

See Also: Crazy: 90 Percent of People Don’t Know How to Use CTRL+F (by Alexis Madrigal, The Atlantic)
From August 18, 2011.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.