When I was 8 or 9; whenever anyone was up to mischief all the bystanders used to stand and chant (over and over again):
“Your muvver wouldn’t like it, your muvver wouldn’t like it, your muvver wouldn’t like it.”
I’m not quite sure why. Perhaps it’s just because kids love repetition. Perhaps it was to alert the dinner ladies – something akin to the “fight, fight, fight” chant that used to ensure that any fights were swiftly broken up.
Anyways when I started playing with Google Instant yesterday the “your muvver wouldn’t like it” chant started up in my head (don’t worry it’s not like I hear voices or anything… well sometimes I do – it’s normally Janeane Garofalo – but whatever, that’s not the point).
I decided to test the theory with my own darling Mummy. Would my Muvver like it?
Right, some background. My Mummy is no silver surfer. She finds search engines confusing. She finds it really hard to find what she’s looking for – mainly it has to be said, because her choice of search query sometimes a bit bizarre.
She also has some ‘issues’ with certain sites. For example, she doesn’t like Ticketmaster – even though from time to time she uses them. Conversely she likes Amazon, but if she wants to buy a book she’d normally type in the name of the book first, rather than going straight to Amazon and searching for the book there.
She doesn’t like the ‘PPP’ ads (I’ve told her a millionty times it’s PPC not PPP) because she thinks that they’re irrelevant. Even when they’re not – what can I say perception is reality.
Ordinarily she’ll do multiple searches until she finds what it is she’s looking for. As she puts it she finds it hard to express what it is she wants to find in the search box.
Me: So, Mumsy how do you like Google Instant?
Mumsy: What? What are you talking about?
She didn’t notice. She was so focused on the search box she wasn’t aware of the listings changing as she typed.
I had to point it out to her. I thought this in itself was pretty interesting.
Me: Can you see how the listings are changing as you type?
Mumsy: Oh, oh I don’t like that at all. It’s all a bit hectic – there’s too much going on. I don’t like the way the page is changing so fast. It’s preempting my search too early.
If things started to happen after I type a full word or two I might like it more – but it’s trying to guess what I want after I type in a single letter – it’s getting it all wrong.
NB – you’d hope of course that over time these predictions would get more accurate based on historical personalised search behaviour.
Me: Do you think you’d get used to it over time?
Mumsy: (Grudging) yes I suppose.
Me: Would you consider using another search engine that didn’t predict your every keystroke like that?
Mumsy: I always use Google. I didn’t know that there were other search engines. Why would I use another search engine?
Me: Because it wouldn’t do the predictive thang.
Mumsy: I don’t know any other search engines.
Me: What if I showed you them?
Mumsy: They wouldn’t do all that jumping around?
Mumsy: Mmmm I might.
So there you have it. Google Instant- my Muvver doesn’t like it.
However – she’s so brand loyal that despite her dislike of the new functionality she only said she *might* consider changing search engine… Interesting, huh?
What do you think? What does your Muvver think? Hit up those comments loves 🙂