We changed our name! After 14 years of creating award-winning digital products & services, it’s time for a new identity that better reflects the human insights-driven, digital customer experiences we create.
We changed our name! After 14 years of creating award-winning digital products & services, it’s time for a new identity that better reflects the human insights-driven, digital customer experiences we create.

AIAIO: Our Blog

AIAIO: Our Blog

The pulse and reviews of Alexander Interactive

Posts Tagged ‘google’

Chromium + instant = predictive page loading

We’ve been recently sending in our predictions for the next 15 years as a follow up to yesterday’s blog post by Alex.  I was going to send in “Google will predict the page you want to go to and automatically load it”  However, to my surprise, since I had enabled --enable-match-preview as a parameter of my Chromium startup, I started experiencing just that.  When I type in “j” it automatically loads Jira in the background (see image).  I didn’t tell it to, it just figured it out based on my history.  With Google instant saving 2-3 seconds per search and Chromium bypassing search completely, we’ll have more time to make awesome websites!


Optimizing for speed

Interesting point from Scott Porad on optimizing page load times. Hint: it’s not about the images; it’s about the http calls.

In other words, the frequency of visits as a factor in reducing empty cache visits is counteracted by the frequency that a site’s content is updated. Of course, this makes sense because unless a site updates it’s content frequently users don’t have a reason to return frequently.

The bottom line: reducing HTTP requests continues to be most important for improving site performance.

Scott found a research report that notes 20% of users have no cache, making local caching a moot point. (I know this first-hand; on my creaky old Windows box at Clarins, I set my own cache to zero, because it minimized the internal RAM and hard drive needs and sped up page rendering.) More important, especially in this era of Ajax, is to minimize server requests, which create the bottlenecks.

Considering Google’s new inclusion of site speed in PageRank this is going to be a key performance metric in 2010, and one to monitor regularly.


Today’s Links – November 10, 2009

When I find a bundle of interesting links, I send them in an email to all of Ai. I thought I would start sharing them here as well. I am always hopeful they will spark some conversation, so feel free to leave comments if you have anything to say.


Google Wave as a Project Collaboration Tool

If you aren’t already familiar with Google Wave, check out some basic info, and a very in-depth video here. Wave is a new project from Google that reinvents email communication. Forget everything you know about email, it was invented back in the 70’s, things have changed; technology is faster, we have cloud computing, web apps look fancier, and for a while, a large portion of email users are moving (back) to web based clients.

Email is the current method of communication and collaboration when working on a project. You usually have a folder for that project in Outlook, some rules to filter project related messages into that folder, and an email chain for each issue. People reply to messages inside that chain somewhere, the thread gets continued, people get added to the thread, people drop off. You don’t know where you are in the chain when you check in a few hours later, and you get bombarded by… STOP!

Wave is very early in its adoption, it’s invite only, but it has the strong potential to fix a lot of these problems. It can clean up a lot of the clutter of project communication and throw it on the cloud so you can get to it anywhere. Wave does need some more security built in for the corporate settings, but that is in the pipeline. Right now waves can only be private or public, but once inside a private wave, that user can invite anyone.

Some notes on how Wave can help a project:

  • Each Project would get its own folder in wave
  • Anyone working on the project would have access to this folder
  • Every issue or conversation would get its own wave and everyone who needs to be involved in the issue is added to the wave.
  • At this point every project related message is confined to the projects folder. No Outlook rules or message dragging will ever be needed. If a new person needs to be involved in the discussion, they are just added to the wave, no forwarding or reply-all.
  • The conversation can continue similar to email, with individual replies, but it can be so much more. In line replies with related topics can appear right with the original topic, not hidden down 6 replies in an email chain
  • You can show only new replies on the wave and get caught back up in the discussion quickly
  • You can do a playback of all or part of the discussion and see who chimed in and when
  • Need to share documents? You will eventually be able to drag them right out of your file system into the browser and into the wave. (This is currently only supported for pictures)

As I said, Wave is very early in its adoption, but after more people join, and more developer plugins come out, I think it will be a very valuable tool both in the workplace and at home.



Google’s announcement of its Chrome web browser is a potential game-changer in the browser industry. But the team feeling the impact will be at the Mozilla Foundation, not Microsoft.

Internet Explorer remains the dominant Web browser and there’s little reason to doubt its continued majority presence. Between personal users who are content with a brand they trust (Microsoft, if not directly IE) and companies whose installed bases are running complete Windows environments, the inclination to shift practices is not present. It’s why Netscape died quickly and why Firefox, despite all its accolades and encouragements, still has less than 20% market share. The same goes for Safari, whose usage rate closely mirrors Apple’s market share as a whole. Most users are content with what they’re given, so long as it works.

Instead of another great user migration, Google will see its first million or so downloads coming from the same advocates who swear by Firefox. Mozilla’s market share will dip accordingly. Don’t be surprised if the browser split, currently 74/19/6 for IE/Safari/FF, spins down to, say, 73/13/5/8 for IE/Safari/FF/Chrome next year. Firefox’s gains could slow by a third if Chrome is any good.

But Google is taking the long view with this project. With the continued splintering of access between desktops, phones, gaming systems and other devices, Google is likely working on a fully platform-agnostic browser. Much as Apple has done with Safari on the iPhone, Chrome will be easily inserted into Treos, Playstations, and anything else requiring web support. Over the next few years, Google could develop a strong presence in the market. This is where Microsoft, And Apple, will ultimately have to pay attention.


Mobile phones and the Internet

Earlier this week Google announced it was seeing 50 times as much activity from iPhone users as any other mobile handset.

Yes, 50X. “We thought it was a mistake and made our engineers check the logs again,” Google’s head of mobile is quoted as saying.

The article goes on to discuss Google’s plan for expanding mobile services, but that’s not the real news here. It’s more about how iPhone users view and use the device, which is unlike any other cell phone.

  1. The iPhone renders full web pages. No other phone does this or even comes close. It’s so easy to use, and so attractive, that iPhone users (like me) don’t seek alternatives, like using SMS to contact Google or buying standalone GPS devices.
  2. The iPhone has wifi. A few other smart phones are getting into this, but they’re still restricted to mobile-web renderings and all the scroll-wheel-and-chiclet-clicking activity that they imply.
  3. The combination of the above two features turns the iPhone into a pocket-size computer. Which means that someone with an iPhone finds it easy to jump online on a whim, and use it in ways other phone (and laptop) owners do not.

This is where the iPhone is shifting paradigms. It’s not just about the touch-screen UI; it’s about the immediacy it provides.

I can be sitting on my couch, watching TV, become curious about something a broadcaster says, and in seconds google the information with the gadget in my pocket and my wireless network. No reaching for the laptop, waking it up, sitting properly; no fiddling with a typical smart phone’s menus and cell towers.

After a while this becomes second nature, which increases the frequency of use and creates the snowball effect Google is seeing from iPhone searches. More and more consumers will move in this direction as the rest of the mobile device industry catches on.