General

Google Finance's Best Feature Isn't AJAX

There’s much ado about Google Finance, which was launched yesterday. They’ve done the typical Google thing by adding some nice AJAX-ish UI integration (actually done in Flash).

I submit to you that an under-appreciated feature is the simple “Search” box. Yahoo Finance, CNN Money, and pretty much every other finance site out there have the obnoxious “Get Quotes” search box, which expects ticker symbols, and a “Symbol Lookup” link if you don’t know the symbol.

Google turns this on its head, with a single lookup box, and it’s amazingly accurate. Requiring 2 separate search approaches was always obtuse and unnecessary, yet it took Google to fix something that’s been broken on the web for a decade.

I wonder what other sacred cows are ripe for hamburger meat. Much like Seth Godin’s mention of the tradition of black lens caps being dethroned by a transparent lens cap with a helpful message, it’s amazing how many things could be improved by considering if there’s any good reason for the tradition.

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One thought on “Google Finance's Best Feature Isn't AJAX

  1. Great points.. just want to add that the symbol lookups are so horribly implemented on the other sites! You first have to know which market the company trades in (!) and even then they are just awful at finding the company if you didn’t know it was the preferred stock symbol.

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