Jumping Through Hoops

Saturday, 1 August 2015

There are six (!) steps to this:

  1. You must have visited Google once.
  2. Click on the "..." more actions menu on the Menu Bar.
  3. Choose Settings.
  4. Scroll to the bottom and click on the "View Advanced Settings" button.
  5. Scroll half-way through the list and choose "Add New" from the "Search in the Address Bar with" menu.
  6. Select "Google" from the list and click on "Add as Default".

The very first step is totally unnecessary. If you skip it, you won't have Google available to set as your default search engine. On that page, there is a "Learn More" link that takes you here which clarifies the need to go to Google first. But why not save the user this inconvenience and just have a list of search engines to pick from?

It's not unreasonable to assume a user may ignore the "Learn More" link and conclude it's not possible to change to Google. I almost did but then I have immediate access to knowledge that the average user (read non-tech enthusiast) probably doesn't. But maybe that's the point. Also, for this to be considered an advanced setting is a dubious move. And not even one of the most prominent ones at that! Apparently, a user is more likely to be interested in turning on caret browsing than changing their default search engine. I actually had no idea what that setting was and I suspect many others won't either; Microsoft seems to think so too which is why it's one of the few settings which comes with a description. Go figure.

For comparison, on Chrome the default search provider can be changed from its main setting page (and not its "Advanced Settings" list). Furthermore, Bing is actually available to pick from by default too. No needing to visit it first nonsense required.