Re: [Usability]Test or analysis needed: Automatic completion

On Wed, 2003-04-23 at 09:36, bordoley msu edu wrote:

> Below are relevant comments from that link
> -----------------------------------------------
> 1) Many users do not touchtype, and the "display in place" feature created
> false positives: Users would type in a URL, we'd make an autosuggestion, but
> the user's would hit return without looking at the screen - and we'd take
> them to a URL they did not want. We also saw a minority of novices that were
> confused with the whole idea - selected text appearing even though they
> hadn't typed it was very strange to them.
> <snip/>
> The IE5 design focused on these two issues: reduce false positives, and
> simultaneously improve the potential value of the feature by offering more
> choices. I prototyped several different designs for presenting the results,
> we did several rounds of usability studies, and that's where what you see
> today came from. There are minor efficiency losses relative to IE4, but the
> reduction in errors (false positives) and the improvement in relevance
> (multiple suggestions) was a tradeoff that I felt was the right one.  It
> also gave us a UI we could reuse for doing autosuggestions on edit fields
> within web pages, another IE5 feature. Also, Tab does work as a way to jump
> into the suggestions list, which doesn't require repositioning your hands.

Even so, most users cannot comprehend URLs.  How many of you can
decipher the URL to a dynamically generated site?  I've seen a lot of
users in tests in my 9 years of Web development, and few can really make
guess the right path from a 6 possible matches.  The autosuggests need
some smarter logic to know when a URL isn't worth suggesting.  If you
have shopped at, try to type a URL in your browser, you'll
see my point.

Some browsers offer a portion of the page title, but the user never sees
enough to make a good decision (about 12 characters for Galeon). 
Sometimes it's because the site has very long titles which prioritize
brand and taxonomy over the title of the content.  Sometimes it's
because the site doesn't make use of titles, eg. 'Footnotes -' is the title of all news at the afore mentioned
site.  I know we can not make site's have good titles, but they are more
meaningful to users.

I think the same is also true of a file system.  The path is not nearly
as important to the user as the destination.  I want to see the title at
the of the end path, not the beginning. 

I really like the Epiphany keyword/bookmark approach because it offers
titles that the user does understand (because the user made them). 
Saddly, Epiphany doesn't even include titles in it's autosuggestions.

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