October 23, 2002

Gaining Two Pounds

Here’s an interview with Marissa Mayer, the Product Manager at Google, about how they maintain such a sparse user interface. A taste:

There’s this one user, a Google zealot — we don’t know who he is — who occasionally sends an e-mail to our “comments” address. Every time he writes, the e-mail contains only a two-digit number. It took us awhile to figure out what he was doing. Turns out he’s counting the number of words on the home page. When the number goes up, like up to 52, it gets him irritated, and he e-mails us the new word count. As crazy as it sounds, his e-mails are helpful, because it has put an interesting discipline on the UI team, so as not to introduce too many links. It’s like a scale that tells you that you’ve gained two pounds.

Filed under The Computer Vet Weblog

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