Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Google Keyboard Navigation: I Loathe You

Google has done a lot for the web and the internet. They are pioneers in so many things, that I probably can't remember them all off the top of my head. While Google has made many things I love (Google Search, Gmail, Google Chrome), many things I feel indifferent about (Google Docs, Google Desktop, Blogger), and many things I don't have a use for (Google Health, Google Earth, Google Voice), I have never hated anything they have made.

Seeing how I mentioned hating something by Google, you can probably guess that I finally hate something they've done.

Google released Google Instant recently, which instantly updates the Google results page as you type. I love it, I think it neat, cool, groovy. Then, to make it "easier" to use, they updated the results page with keyboard navigation. With keyboard navigation, when you hit up or down on the arrow keys, you arrow through the results, kind of like selecting something from a menu with arrow keys (video above).

This is supposed to help you, but for me, it's awkward, jarring, and not what I expect when I hit the arrow keys. If you use the arrow keys often when browsing the web, like me, you should be familiar with their standard function of scrolling. You should be able to scroll on my blog, trying hitting the up and down arrow keys now. See that scrolling action? I bet you can understand how frustrating it is when that doesn't work when searching Google.

Google, please remove keyboard navigation and let me scroll using arrow keys, like every other webpage on the internet.


  1. I usually use my mouse's scroll wheel for scrolling. Just a habit.

    Interestingly, I absolutely love Google Docs and Google Voice, and are some of my most used apps on Google (along with Blogger, Sites, Gmail, and Search).

    Finally, instant search was not for me, I felt motion sickness from it, and I usually don't feel motion sickness!

  2. I jump between my mouse and the arrow keys for scrolling. For Google Search, I have my hands on the keyboard when I put in my search and it's easiest to just scroll with the arrow keys at that point.

    I tried Google Docs for a bit and was impressed, but I didn't like that I had to be connected to the internet to work on my things.

    I've heard great things about Google Voice, but I just can't get myself to use it. Maybe I'm just shy.

    The reasons I use Blogger is because I don't need a server or money for the customization I want. In my opinion, if you own a server, Wordpress (the free open source, server install, not is much, much better.

    I use Google Sites, but the customization could be better. For an easy and quick way to have a simple webpage for free, it's great.

    Google Instant is great, but, I believe, there's no way to permanently shut it off if wanted. They need to add that.

  3. Right next to the results, there is an option to turn of instant. Or in your settings. True both times on Sites and Blogger. Voice is pretty cool, but it feels like changing your name to Sting or something. You have to ask people to start calling you on your new number.

    Docs I use, because I go between different computers a lot! And I mean a metric ton.

  4. I started using Dropbox to sync files between my computers. It's one of the best decisions I've made. It just acts as a folder on your computer except every time you connect to the internet it syncs all the files within that folder and subfolders. The first 2GB are totally free, so if you're just using it for documents, like I do, it's perfect.

    After using Dropbox I couldn't stand the cumbersome feel of Google Docs.


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