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It's amazing how Google has made so many ignorant to how a standard URL bar works

Oct 25, 2017
2,790
#1
I work in a customer service field to where I need to speak with people over the phone about going to websites pretty regularly. I'm just dealing with regular folk primarily, and 8/10 times conversations about the url bar go like this... (will just be using sub names in place of my company)

Me - "Ok, so the website you need to go to is placeholder.placeholder.com/placeholder. That should bring you right to it, and on the page you should see some happy people on a banner."

Them - " Ok hang on I'm putting it in.....ok.....it says Placeholder.com.....placeholder banner ads....placeholder images done for you...."

Me - "Are you on google? Is placeholder.com listed in blue text?"

Them - "Yeah!"

Me - "Ok....click on it and I will navigate you from there" *internal heavy sigh and facepalm*

I don't know if they're typing in place holder . place holder . com / placeholder....just not typing the .com....maybe typing out DOT....who knows.

Not really faulting these people, or Google for that matter really. I mean I guess it's cool that the internet for a lot of people these days is as simple as type the thing you want and click on the first result. Problem is, when you're working in a field like mine and need to get people to specific places, it can be frustrating. Sometimes it brings them to a page that's harder to navigate them from. Sometimes they click on an ad or the wrong website and you just gotta figure that out and most likely start all over. Sometimes I have to actually google what I think they googled, so I can navigate them FROM the google search. If you could.....just....understand....and type it in as I say.....we could save a lot of time an effort....

For someone that's been online surfing message boards as soon as I could get dial up as kid, just the idea that there's so many people out there that simply don't understand how a standard URL bar works, and just see it as "the Google bar" is just hard for me to wrap my head around.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,422
#6
Its not as bad as it used to be.

Back when I worked Tech supp, Toolbars were all over the place. It was a fucking nightmare to even get people to type in the right place.
 

Roy

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,924
#7
I get so mad when I’m trying to access my router and google wants to do a web search. I stopped using chrome
 
Oct 27, 2017
520
Montreal
#9
Yes, it drives me crazy. Get calls about their website and it takes 5 minutes just to get their URL because they have no idea what their address is or how to find it.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,255
#10
Last year I asked a student worker to google some random fact. She had trouble finding it so I looked at the google query and she phrased it as a question.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,854
Edmonton
#11
It actually took me a while to start using the address bar to search stuff because I was too used to it being for URLs only. I can see why people who jumped into computers later would have it the other way around.

Also explaining basic keyboard shortcuts to people (even here at work where you'd think most would be familiar with them) is challenging. Ctrl-L to jump to the address bar? What's that?
 

GulAtiCa

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,430
#13
Since were on this topic. I'm a web developer. While I don't work with clients (be choice/design), I have heard great stories over the years.

Related: A Client once asked us to remove a competitor from showing up in a Google Search for their business (who was also listed above them).... lol
 

Kirblar

Banned
Member
Oct 25, 2017
20,624
#14
Yeah, this has nothing to do with google, and has always been this way. lol

It's only involving Google here as Google is that easy to use
It's modern browsers having the URL bar as a search bar. I know EXACTLY what he's talking about from a previous position doing similar work as the OP.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,559
PA - US
#15
I work in a similar job and have no real problems with this. My customers who used to use IE and had all sorts of toolbars were far worse. So many calls could have been cut in half if people weren't accidentally using a Yahoo search bar.
 
Oct 27, 2017
7,755
#16
Ignorant people don't even know how to use a Google search bar, and you have to show them where and what that bar is.

I feel you're giving stupidity too much credit.
 
Oct 29, 2017
599
#17
I think web browsers building search functionality into the URL bar has made this problem worse, but this dates back to the beginning of the interwebs.

Back when entering an invalid URL returned an error you at least had to kind of know how URLs worked. Those days are long, long gone though.

I will say, a large issue is how we think of file structure and web URLs in any event. I think if anything early web design (and some hold over sites) wanted the user to conform to the sites underlying structure instead of thinking of end-user functionality first and foremost. Making your customers navigate to a specific page on your site is a large part of the issue. Newer better UX design shouldn't require this and if there are common pages customer service needs to direct their clients to you should be able to find it easily on the homepage or through google search results returning the result as the primary search for "Company X problem Y"
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,668
#18
What in the world made you think people understood URLs and address bars before Google?

I was "the computer guy" in my extended family before Google. That was NOT the case, lol.

Kids these days..
 
Nov 15, 2017
3,212
#19
Oh I feel your pain. At my last job, we had a giveaway which required people to visit an URL to see who the winners were. We had so many calls from people because they couldn't get to the site because they didn't realize that they were typing the url into Google with the .com and could only find our main site. Very frustrating.
 
Dec 29, 2017
705
#21
It's crazy how windows has completely made people ignorant to how command prompts work.

I also think it's nutso that people I know can't chisel out a poem into stone but can single finger punch a paragraph into MS word
 
Nov 6, 2017
872
#27
The home page having a search bar in it is my bane. I ask a user to type into the address bar "at the top" and they type it into the search bar that's in the middle.
 

BDS

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,365
#29
When I worked at Target, a significant number of the Rokus we sold would come back returned. I never understood why until I asked the customer service people. They said that customers would always complain that "I paid $X for the Roku, and now I have to pay for an installation too?" Of course, Roku accounts are free and there is no "installation" required beyond plugging into your TV, so I went digging.

Rokus come with a sheet of instructions telling you to go to a certain roku.com URL in order to set up your account and pair it with the device. As it turns out, a great many users were, instead of typing this URL, Googling "Roku installation," whereupon they find several top links that are scam sites promising to help you with the super complicated task of installing your Roku in exchange for a fee. I had to instruct the customer service people that if anyone comes in claiming their Roku needs an installation fee, to tell them that it's a scam and they need to enter the exact URL listed on the sheet instead of Googling it. I also started explaining this to future Roku purchasers.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,234
#30
I realize this is just blowing off steam to a common frustration but if it is a common enough occurrence then isn't that a pretty good indicator that a change of approach is necessary? For example if it is truly 8/10 users then isn't it better to assume they will end up at Google anyway and try to find the search string that will take the fewest navigation steps to get where needed?

I'm not thrilled with Google being the default everything as much as the next person but if it is truly a source of frustration at some point your are just trying to fist fight an avalanche.
 
Nov 3, 2017
5,730
Portland, OR
#31
It’s just a symptom of people not understanding the function of what they interact with on their screen. A thing is just a thing to people as long as it is consistent in the majority of the situations where they’re using it.

Something else to consider is that most trainings are garbage. It’s not that it’s impossible to design curriculum that can teach this stuff to people. It’s that we don’t care enough to do it.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,952
#34
When I worked at Target, a significant number of the Rokus we sold would come back returned. I never understood why until I asked the customer service people. They said that customers would always complain that "I paid $X for the Roku, and now I have to pay for an installation too?" Of course, Roku accounts are free and there is no "installation" required beyond plugging into your TV, so I went digging.

Rokus come with a sheet of instructions telling you to go to a certain roku.com URL in order to set up your account and pair it with the device. As it turns out, a great many users were, instead of typing this URL, Googling "Roku installation," whereupon they find several top links that are scam sites promising to help you with the super complicated task of installing your Roku in exchange for a fee. I had to instruct the customer service people that if anyone comes in claiming their Roku needs an installation fee, to tell them that it's a scam and they need to enter the exact URL listed on the sheet instead of Googling it. I also started explaining this to future Roku purchasers.
Hot take: It should be against the laws for search companies to sell ads as results. I typed in "Southwest phone" yesterday and the number for American Airlines came up first. That's dirty. Yes, people are stupid, but tech companies are making bank on that stupidity. I don't blame people for being confused when websites are designed to confuse the average user.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,774
#36
There used to be news stories a lot about how “google” is the #1 query on Bing, as though people were going to Bing and then fleeing for Google. But obviously it was just buffoons typing Google into their bar and not realizing it was querying Bing at all.

But yeah. Most people don’t understand even the basics of what an Internet is.
 
Oct 27, 2017
588
#39
something similar happened to me. I wrote up some documentation for someone to configure their servers. I tried to make it as idiot proof as possible. Screenshots, exact things to click on, etc.

They still fucked it up....like, how?
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,393
Alrest
#41
It’s amazing how people refuse to try to learn or read about basic things. They don’t know basic things like email. What’s worse is if the person you report to can’t start a computer and refer to it as “decoration” in a fucking office.
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,686
#48
h t t p s : / / w w w . p l a c e h o l d e r . com / e x t r a _ l e t t e r s _ a n d _ n u m b e r s _ a n d _ w e i r d _ c h a r a c t e r s

^it's just so boring!!!

Just type a word you are looking for, and then browse the results. Google knows what you meant anyway. They've been spying on you for YEARS. In fact, just open up your web browser and it'll already be there for you because your microphone is on and listening.
 
Oct 29, 2017
2,249
#49
Yeah, this has nothing to do with google, and has always been this way. lol

It's only involving Google here as Google is that easy to use
Chrome in particular actually treats the url bar as a search bar too. It just defaults anything that is not a direct url as a Google search.

So yeah, Google has put in some fault on their own accord in the name of ease for the laymen