与google的产品经理Marissa Mayer的电话采访

本文为翻译,原标题是《Interview: Marissa Mayer, Product Manager, Google》

google,成为线上体验的先锋者已经有一段时间了。我最近通过与google的产品经理Marissa Mayer的电话采访来学习google是如何建立并改良它用户体验的。

在2000年,Marissa Mayer成为google的第一个专业用户体验工程师。现在UI工作组已经发展成为一个8人团队。

问: Google能始终如一贯彻如此简洁和清爽的用户体验的秘密是什么?

创始人拉里佩奇在HCI(人机交互)上深厚的背景,使得他变的非常重要。我听说你在其他公司不得不做些文档与说明(关于用户体验的重要性),我们无需去做。Google的领导者是非常了解用户体验必要性的。他们想知道具体的实施步骤。我们告诉他们:

UI小组的所有人都认为Google不混乱(用户体验)。为了提供良好的用户体验,我喜欢说“你想要什么?当你需要的时候”(个人理解为google作搜索的理念,就是在猜用户真正想要搜索的东西),正如我反对“你会想要所有的东西,即使你不需要的时候”。(在正确的时候提供正确的结果,真正解决需求,而不是所有的东西都给用户。)

我认为google应该像瑞士军刀一样:干净的,简单的,是个你到任何地方都需要带的工具。当你需要什么工具的时候,你可以把这个可爱的小东西拿出来,然后取出你需要的部分。正像google,与其把我们能做的都摆在你面前,不如给你一些小贴士(帮助),鼓励你通过这种方法(搜索)去获得。我们把你的疑问放到搜索框去搜索,比把所有的链接放到你面前要好得多。这个很适合我们。就像如果你看到一个具有681功能的刀子,你会感到很恐惧。这也是为什么很多网站你害怕使用他们的原因。Google同他们一样,都很复杂,但是我们有一个简单的功能强大的界面,好像瑞士军刀合上之后。

最大的问题就是用户体验,如何获得最有用的体验。这是“有用的”和“好用的”之间最大的区别。在google,我们实线了一个“有用的”工具,同时我们又把“好用的”界面把他包装起来。这两个因素是互相制约与促进的。如果你有一个“好用”的但是“没用”的工具,你等于什么都没有。

问:主流网站中,很少有网站可以常年避免堆积(内容,界面,好像中国的门户网站 =。=),google的设计是如何做到可以一直保持简洁的?

我们试着思考了很长一段时期。当我们在页面上添加东西的时候,不是因为我们认为会立即获得盈利或回报,而是因为那是个合适的地方放置它。我们有新的特色,但是我希望这些特色加上的效果相对与庞大来说是更有用的。就像我们的翻译功能,他可以给用户提供他们母语界面的google。我们想了解我们究竟该把这些放到页面的什么位置。最终我们把他放在参数配置页面的一个小句子里。它只是一个小链接”If you don’t see your language here”,他很小并且很不起眼,不会干扰到用户,但是通过合理把它放置在人们通常习惯的位置上,我们已经获得37000个签约用户来帮我翻译页面。

我们的“拼写检查”是技术上另外一个重点。它通过“你要找的是?”这样的链接来建议修改(关键词)拼写。它的重要性已经远远超过他使页面“臃肿”的问题。

正如我们添加其他特色一样,最终我们会评估所有的功能,来检验它们是否都会获得足够的使用率,否则我们会把他们拿掉。我们谨慎的添加新功能,同时我们也很愿意拿掉那些对于我们用户来说没有用处的功能。

翻译水平有限,奉上原文:

Interview: Marissa Mayer, Product Manager, Google

2007-04-21 17:14

Note: Marissa Mayer will speak at the Gel (Good Experience Live) conference, May 2003, in New York City. Details here.

Google.com has been a leader in online experience for some time. I recently conducted a phone interview with Marissa Mayer, Google product manager, to learn how Google creates and improves its customer experience.

Marissa Mayer was the first person at Google to work exclusively on the user experience, starting in 2000. The UI team now consists of about eight people.

Q: What is Google’s secret in maintaining such a simple and clear user experience, so consistently?

Larry Page, our founder, has been very important because of his background in HCI. We don’t have to play the politics, like I’ve heard you have to do in other companies. Google executives are very understanding of user experience needs. They want to understand what happened on a detailed level. We’ll tell them, we had eight users come in for a user test, and five couldn’t use this feature.

All of us on the UI team think the value of Google is in not being cluttered, in offering a great user experience. I like to say that Google should be “what you want, when you want it.” As opposed to “everything you could ever want, even when you don’t.”

I think Google should be like a Swiss Army knife: clean, simple, the tool you want to take everywhere. When you need a certain tool, you can pull these lovely doodads out of it and get what you want. So on Google, rather than showing you upfront that we can do all these things, we give you tips to encourage you to do things these ways. We get you to put your query in the search field, rather than have all these links up front. That’s worked well for us. Like when you see a knife with all 681 functions opened up, you’re terrified. That’s how other sites are – you’re scared to use them. Google has that same level of complexity, but we have a simple and functional interface on it, like the Swiss Army knife closed.

The utmost thing is the user experience, to have the most useful experience. It’s important to differentiate between “usefulness” and “usability.” At Google, we make a *useful* tool, and then we put a *usable* interface on top of that. One has to precede the other. If you have usability without a useful product, you don’t really have much.

Q: It’s rare for a major website to keep from bulking up over the years. How does Google’s design stay simple?

We try to think long-term. When we place things on a page, it’s not because we think we’ll get an immediate payoff, but because that’s the right place to put it. We will have new features, but I hope that those features are added so that they’re more helpful than bulky. Like our language translation feature, where users can translate Google into their language. We wondered where should we put it on the website. Ultimately we put it in a small sentence on the Preferences page. It’s just a small link that says “If you don’t see your language here…” It’s very small and unintrusive, but by cleverly placing it where people would most likely to want it, we’ve gotten 37,000 users to sign up to help us translate the site.

Our spellchecker is another significant piece of technology. It uses the “did you mean” link to suggest alternative spellings. It’s so useful that the bulk it adds to the page is greatly outweighed by its usefulness.

As we add more features, eventually we’ll have to evaluate all of them, to see if some aren’t drawing enough usage, in which case we may take them away. We’re placing new features carefully, and we’re willing to pull some if they’re not useful enough for our users.(2008-07-04 01:12 )

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