And you think you know your users


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Summary of the Read Write Web technology blog vs Facebook login incident that occurred on the 10th Feb 2010. Hopefully gives some insight in to how some users think.

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  • This is a story of something that happened on the internet recently that gives some insight into how some people use the internet 
  • On Feb 10 2010 (8:25am) the techblog ReadWriteWeb published an article titled "Facebook Wants to Be Your One True Login" It's about a deal between Facebook and AOL to integrate a users Facebook friends into their AOL instant messenger. The article was quite popular and quickly rose in the google search results. After a while a strange thing started happening. Quoting  a RWW followup article: "Within a half an hour of posting, the number of visitors had skyrocketed. It looked like a real winner. An hour later, it had reached the number of visitors an average post might see in an entire day. I figured I'd hit a home run. But then the comments started rolling in."
  • Comments like: ok cool now can I get to facebook
  • and this: please give me back the old facebook login this is crazy.................  
  • and this  "I just want to log in to Facebook - what with the red color and all? LOLLLOLOL!!!!!111" started appearing on the artilce
  • This is what was happening... Users were searching for "Facebook login" on google and clicking on the RWW article
  • and getting the RWW article and thinking it was
  • Facebook
  • What the...???
  • Stop the difference? A lot of people didn't.  The article now has over 1600 comments.  the latter are due to it becoming a "meme" and are more ironic in nature. But the first 3 pages contain what would appear to be genuine comments from people who really thought they were on facebook.  So the ones leaving the comments were only a small proportion of users doing this.
  • What can be learned from this? The following is a summary of a follow up post on the RWW site.
  • You work in the web industry.  You are on the internet  most days for 8 hours or more. More than likely the people using the sites you build are not like you and have very different goals.
  • People mistook a site with a big red header for the facebook! We filter the junk on a page and seek what we are looking for...
  • While users might have been initially confused by the facebook "redesign"  many scrolled down to find the "Facebook Connect" button.   This allowed them to connect to RWW site using the facebook login and leave comments!  It probably reenforced there perception that they were on facebook
  • You might scoff at these what these people did but they use the sites you build every day. 
  • Links to the original article and 2 follow ups. The first cntains the lessons I've summarised and the second is where they point the finger at Google.   Basically says that it's a potential security risk and that "news" items should be able to get they high in results so quickly.
  • Follow me on twitter @brucemorrison
  • And you think you know your users

    1. 1. And you think you know your users...
    2. 9. WTF?
    3. 11. Lessons?
    4. 12. Users don't care about what you care about.
    5. 13. Users don't read your copy or look at your branding.
    6. 14. Users gravitate toward the simple and the familiar.
    7. 15. Users rule the Internet.
    8. 16. <ul><li>Links </li></ul><ul><li>Original RWW Article </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>RWW Follow-ups </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
    9. 17. @brucemorrison