Analysing thank-you-for-downloading-[browser] pages: Google Chrome

This post is a part of the enterprise I have set out on—an analysis of how different web browser developers use words and images after you have decided to give their product a try by downloading it.

Google Chrome logo
Google Chrome logo

Web browser: Google Chrome

Google Chrome is the first browser I downloaded for the test. Its thank-you page is clean and simple, echoing the overall feel of the website. The gratitude is expressed by “Thank you for installing Chrome”, which is the line of text set in largest font size, bound to attract attention.

1. What is about to happen

Google Chrome’s thank-you page shows three steps of how the process of getting the new web browser on your machine goes down. Quite as expected, the first step is “Download”. The second step is “Install”, and the last one is “Run”. The three steps are illustrated by relevant images of how an operating system handles the download and installation.

Google Chrome’s thank-you page in Safari on OS X
Google Chrome’s thank-you page in Safari on OS X

The screencapture images illustrating the three steps match the operating system that you use at the moment. For example, if you download Google Chrome on Windows (regardless of which browser you use to gain access to the download page), the images show Internet Explorer’s installation dialog window.

2. What is required of user

On Windows 7, the user is not required to do anything beyond what Chrome installer cannot do by itself. The text says, “Once installed, Chrome should start automatically.”

Google Chrome’s thank-you page in Internet Explorer on Windows 7
Google Chrome’s thank-you page in Internet Explorer on Windows 7

On OS X, however, there is instead a line of text that says, “After installing, you can right-click the Chrome icon and select ‘Keep in Dock’ to access Chrome easily.” Though not a requirement, this encouragement is also shown visually in the last image, where Google Chrome icon already sits in Dock between System Preferences icon and Contacts icon.

Chrome make it easy for the user to force download, should it not begin automatically, by including a link to the file just above the three workflow images: “click here to retry”.

3. How to get started

Users seem to be expected to know how to operate a web browser. There are not many clues as to what a browser is and what one should do to get started browsing the web. However, there is a link to Google Chrome’s Help centre: “Have questions? You can find more information in the Chrome Help center.”

4. Spreading the love

On their thank-you page, Google Chrome do not show that they rely on the word of mouth markteing of their product. The only way for you to share the just-downloaded browser is a small +1 button just below what may be considered as a mega footer. That is the button and a humble number of 2.2 million users who already showed their appreciation for the browser.

Other observations

Google Chrome make their mobile browser and integral part of the thank-you page. The section of the page where there are links to Google Chrome for Android devices and iOS devices is just as noticeable as the three step illustrations, though it is located below them. They prompt users to “bring [their] Chrome experience to [their] phone or tablet”.

The differences between how Chrome’s thank-you page is shown on different operating systems are only slight and well-grounded.

Conclusion

My suggestion is to not take users’s web browser experience for granted and provide a better way of showing how to get started with Chrome, in order to get the most of it.

Next up: Mozilla Firefox. Don’t miss it, follow me on Twitter for updates.

Analysing thank-you-for-downloading-[browser] pages: background and criteria

How do browsers thank you for downloading their products? What do they show you right after you pushed that blue/green button? I’ve set out to investigate how world’s five most popular web browsers use text and images after you decided to try them out on your machine.

I have done my fair share of downloading browsers. There are things that I expect the thank-you pages to contain, which is maybe all the more the reason for my establishing a framework for the analysis. So, here are the criteria that I am going to mainly take notice of, when researching Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and Opera.

1. What is about to happen

Downloading a browser is most probably not something you do very often unless your work entitles you to it, for example. People who do not do it on a regular basis might be unfamiliar with what downloading, and subsequently installing, a browser involves. So, I expect a thank-you page to provide a kind of a step-by-step instruction reciting what is about to happen, in a chronological order.

2. What is required of user

Most people are unfamiliar with the procedure, which means they do not often know what they are expected to do. What actions they are required to accomplish during the download should be a part of the chronological workflow explained above.

3. How to get started

It is likely that people downloading a browser are taking their first steps with it. How to get started with using it is therefore one of the necessary bits of information a thank-you page should include.

4. Spreading the love

There has been a battle (some call it war) among web browsers for usage share. Though not a mandatory ingredient, asking people who download your browser to spread the word, and thereby taking a chance at boosting own popularity, is a highly probable action on the browser developer to take.

There are other criteria thank-you pages might need to meet, in order to qualify for a complete usability analysis. However, I do not claim the analysis to be so thorough or full-toned that it would be exhaustive. Rather, I hope that looking at the five browsers in the light of the aforementioned criteria will lay foundation to build upon, would such inclination or need arise.

Here are the five browser pages that will be tested:

  • Google Chrome (for Mac* and Windows**)
  • Mozilla Firefox (for Mac* and Windows**)
  • Internet Explorer
  • Safari (for Mac*** and Windows***)
  • Opera (for Mac* and Windows**)

______

* — downloaded using Safari

** — downloaded using Internet Explorer

*** — Safari does not have a special download or thank-you page. Both Safari for Mac and Safari for Windows can be downloaded from Apple’s support pages.

Items marked for comparison: why hide them from my sight?

Comparing two products is probably one of the basic features one can ask for in an online store. Still, it seems that it is a tough nut to crack, if you want to make it right. 

Today, I performed an unintentional experiment, which I would like to share. As I was browsing through websites in search for a new bed for my three-year-old, I got stuck on one in particular. Not because of the lack of choices, but because I couldn’t find the items I marked I wanted to compare. Here are the first six results, after I found a category page for “Junior beds”.

Compare items 1

Oh, look! How sexy, a slider! But that wasn’t what I came for, right. You do not need to be able to read and understand Swedish, in order to grasp that there is no way of marking any of the beds shown in the screenshot as potential for comparison. The way to do it, is opening each item on their own page and finding a single word “Jämför”, meaning “Compare”. Of course. Because here’s when the fun begins.

Compare items 2

So, I open the first item and click on the word. When I do it, this is what I see:

Compare items 3

I scrolled up and down, expecting a very prominent comparison tool to become visible somewhere, to no avail. Not giving up, I thought I missed something. “Maybe,” I thought, “the comparison tool is smart enough to know that I have picked one item and is waiting for me to pick the second one.” So I went back and chose another item and clicked on the same word. Here’s what happened next.

Compare items 4

Something’s wrong. Why is the page empty? Where are the items I know I have picked to compare? Up and down in scroll, up and down. I gave up, went on to do other things, leaving the tab open, showing the second bed I thought I would compare to the first one. When a couple of hours later I returned and noticed the tab, I opened it again, just to make sure I was ready to let go and close it.

I finally saw the two items to compare. Here they are:

Compare items 5

Do I need to say that the willingness to push the button was close to zero then? Not because of unwillingness to buy my daughter a bed, but because of whoever build the site forced me to waste time.

My encouragement is to think smart and hire an expert, a professional in the field of user experience, for example, if you want to retain visitors and transform them into clients.

“My best friend and I are best!”

These arrogant impudent words I found on a sidewalk, written in pink, yellow, orange and white chalk, not far from where I live:

“My best friend and I are best!”

Outrageous, no sign of respect or consideration of others. Aren’t there better friends than the ones who chalked the pavement? Or at least just as good? Even if it’s true, that there are no better friends in the universe than these two, how impolite and rude of them to shout their relationship righteousness for the world to hear.

Chalk on sidewalk

Photo Credit: Swamibu via Compfight (cc)

Imagine these two children (because only children write in chalk, obviously) being aware of their statement only being true in part. Imagine them being insecure and bullied. And laughed at for the colour of their skin or the clothing style predicated by the social status of their parents. Imagine them against the rest, finding solace in the acceptance the other offers for free.

“My best friend and I are best!”

These profound amiable words I found on the sidewalk, written in power, dignity, purity and love, not far from where I live.

Short story: Haste

Time froze. That fraction of a second Stan shared with Leah lasted long enough for her life to fly by before her eyes.

“Run!” his whisper was gentle, but firm.

“No, I can’t, not without you!” she opposed.

“I’ll be fine,” Stan sounded less convincing than a bad preacher. “Don’t worry about me, you must make it!”

“Thank you…” Leah softly squeezed his hand.

Stan nodded, “Take care, run now!”

She could not miss the plane. The head start he gave her must be enough, he hoped, walking out, holding her handcuffs.

Chrome extensions: WhatFont

WhatFont is a Google Chrome extension that allows you to view the name of a font that text is displayed in on a page. It is very simple and does what it says it does.

WhatFiont 1

Clicking on the font opens up a dialog box containing the service that brings the font to the page (Google Fonts or Typekit) as well as some other details of how the font is being used on a page, e.g. size and colour.

WhatFont

Get the extension WhatFont here.

How are reality and words related?

Language, as a result of sapiens thinking, is powerful. Power is often about control and manipulation. But what happens when a meaning of a word, which was meant to be conveyed by certain usage, is changed by reality? What happens when intended domination and manipulation fail and give way to the opposite?

Mark Forsyth describes how politics are connected to controlling language:

Politicians try to pick words and use words to shape reality and control reality, but in fact, reality changes words far more than words can ever change reality.

Watch Forsyth’s 6-minute talk here:

What’s a snollygoster? A short lesson in political speak is a talk by Mark Forsyth at TEDxHousesofParliament in London