Google is pretty much the go-to search engine for most people. They’ve done a fantastic job at narrowing down exactly what you are looking for based on your query (most of the time, anyway) but what about the things you want to search for, but never get around to?
It seems a bit creepy to think about at first but sure enough, a recent study conducted by the search giant explored this very subject.
Tom Simonite from Technology Review was one of 150 or so participants in what Google called the Daily Information Needs Study last month. As he tells it, he was contacted at eight different times each day for a period of three days. Each time, Google asked him to name some things that he wanted to know recently – just everyday things that he wouldn’t otherwise bother to look up.
People search Google all the time to locate a wealth of information but even still, individuals often turn to other outlets like a friend of an instruction manual to find what they are looking for. Lead user experience designer for Google search Jon Wiley, one of the people that helped lead the study, would like to find out about these hidden needs and understand how to meet them.
Wiley isn’t prepared to share the study results at this time but there’s little doubt that information like this will ultimately be put to use in some form or another. Projects like Google Glass seem like a viable candidate for providing information to a user before a question even arises.