Where Google Should Not Do More

chrome_logo With the latest browser launched upon the great sea of already existing browsers, a common thread has begun to develop from numerous sources and blogs. While not uncommon for new, online products of all types, from all companies, I find myself with a unique and different opinion from most.

Google has just released its own web browser, Chrome. And everyone is telling Google to add more, more, and more. In most every other circumstance, especially as it relates to the products that Google produces, I too, frequently opine for more and better user experiences and features within the Google line of products.

However, now, for once, Google would be best served NOT LISTENING TO EVERYONE!

Why Google Chrome Isn’t My Default Browser

What’s Missing in Google Chrome

Google Toolbar missing in Chrome!

Hands-on with Chrome: Google’s browser shines (mostly)

Chrome Not Ready for Enterprise

Chrome to Get Extensions – Just Not Yet

Many are asking for a lot more, from RSS and plug-ins to toolbars, to more buttons, and even ActiveX (something no browser, other than Internet Explorer will ever support).

Wrong More

The more that is being asked for is the wrong more. It is the more of buttons and toolbars and widgets and doo-dads. The right more for Google’s Chrome is in intelligence and intuition, in a minimalistic and welcoming environment, where the products of the Internet take center stage, and the browser with all its new found simplicity fades into the background.

Minimalistic Good

01_good_stuffChrome has been designed with clear effort to provide a browser-minimalistic view. It is one in which the browser becomes more the portal through which the Internet can more closely connect with the user; a lesser point of interaction and distraction from the main goals of products and people online.

Good highlights…

  • The tabs, from their placement at the top edge of the window to the improvement of user interaction flow through the introduction of such elements as transition animations when adding and removing them.
  • Faster and more responsive environment. From the opening of a new window, to the easy visual selecting from the most frequently visited sites, bookmarks and closed tabs — presented at just the right moment … opening a new window (not persistently taking up valuable window real-estate).

Right More

While many of the desired features from the masses may make sense, that should be considered within the new paradigm being presented by Google – making the browser and the use of the products of the Internet EASIER, MORE INTUTIVE, and more ACCESSIBLE to all. People don’t need more buttons and menus and other strange icons and graphics. Rather, people need a browser that will better understand the user, and better present just what the user wants, when they want (or need) it. That is the new experience, the new concept currently being presented by Google. This is a very challenging and admirable path to take. And hopefully, Google will be able to hold fast and not diverge, and become just any old browser, but a new innovation in web browsing that elevates the web experience.

Needs work…

  • More intuitive integration of bookmarking concepts. Chrome did well in minimizing their presence, but does not currently do well in user interaction post- and during bookmarking.

02_bookmark

  • Other companies will want to integration and include plug-ins and other types of extensions for the browser. Google will need to spend a good deal of effort in introducing a new framework within which the developer community will be able to integrate with the intuitive and minimalistic elements of the browser, not negatively impacting the current minimalism that has been achieved.

No More

People are comfortable with the same old thing. People knowingly, or subconsciously, will request and guide and suggest and desire that old familiar feeling. People like what they are comfortable with and will try to coax Chrome into a format resembling the Internet Explorer or FireFox experiences, but in a Google shell — — if that happens you might as well have just shut down the project.

The goal of Chrome appears to be in the desire to shift the online paradigm (as well as further seed the development of G1 apps) — making online interaction more inviting, easier, faster, and more intuitive – even in areas that people don’t realize these improvements are needed. Therein lies the true promise and value in the future of what has currently been presented as Chrome.

Chrome presents a wonderful opportunity, to show people a concept of interacting with the products of the Internet in a manner that perhaps none have imagined, and based on the advice being thrown around, may be near impossible for many to fully comprehend the implications.

But, if Google ever listened to anyone before, listen to me now — DON’T LISTEN TO THEM! Ignore the prevailing advice of the masses about what the browser needs and what interfaces and buttons are missing. Google has notoriously done a poor job of presenting a good online user experience (iPhone apps being the most notable exception).

However, now with the newest browser in town, Chrome, Google must strive to adhere to and strengthen its embrace of this new minimalistic paradigm of interaction with the online world and carefully decide where they, Google, should do more, and where Google should (definitely) not do more.

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

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About Jeremy Horn

Jeremy Horn is an award-winning, product management veteran with 2 decades of experience leading and managing product teams. Jeremy has held various executive and advisory roles, from founder of several start-ups to driving diverse organizations in online services, consumer products, and wearables. As founder of The Product Group, he has created the largest product management meetup in the world and hosts the annual awarding of The Best Product Person. Accelerating the next evolution of product management, Jeremy acted as creator and instructor of the 10-week product management course at General Assembly and The New School, and mentoring at Women 2.0 and Lean Startup Machine (where is he also a judge). To see where Jeremy is now check him out at (1) http://linkedin.com/in/TheProductGuy and (2) http://TheProductGuy.com

7 thoughts on “Where Google Should Not Do More

  1. You’ve made some interesting points but I’m not sure I necessarily agree.

    Others may be asking for more because their need and/or want those toolbars, buttons, and doo-dads to complete online tasks.

    When I’ve got 1,000 things on my plate in a single day I need to quickly and quietly move from one place to another to accomplish everything. I for one, cannot do this with Chrome. I’ve lost a lot of productivity and function using their browser. I spent a day with it, closed it, and went back to FireFox where I was more productive because of the add-ons that I have.

    Now, if people are asking for more to be productive, I’m going to have to say that I agree with them. Otherwise, Chrome will never become the default browser for those looking to be more productive in their web working.

    Good post and great argument though, Stumbled.

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  2. Katy i completely disagree with you on plug-in being nessicary for you to be productive. You are falling to the trap of being used to doing things in a certain way that when you try something new it is slowing you down… not because you cant be just as effecient or even more effecient with a different browser but because you are so used to doing it one way that it takes your mind longer to work out the best way to do things in the new browser.

    I for one have found my productivity to have gone up by a lot mainly due to the immense speed at which chrome seems to run everything i do.

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  3. I agree to Katy. What she is trying to say is that different people have different needs. Just the way Katy needs plugins, Jake needs the immense speed! I need the Google Pagerank and other stuff. Like send the selected text directly to a blog or email. Chrome is a good browser but even if I force myself away from Firefox or IE, i do not have all the tools in chrome that i need to work with. Or else i will have to spend double the time.

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  4. SPEED is the MOST important BROWSER POWER, and Chrome is the fastest. Agree with Jake. Altough it lacks some features for me too.. but the speed… 😉

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  5. Beta beta beta beta beta, less than a week.
    Does it surprise you that Chrome isn’t your default browser?
    Do you expect it to be perfect just right away? Even if it is marked “BETA”?

    Vista sucks big time, XP is almost decent now, and how long did that take? What about internet explorer?

    If you compare chrome to that then it is just as good, and you can expect way, way more.

    And Chrome isn’t just about google making a new browser and hope everyone uses their browser, it’s also about inventing new technologies such as V8, open source for all to use for their own benefit. The next version of IE might even contain it, and I hope you won’t praise Microsoft for their ingenuity, while saying how bad chrome is.

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