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"Report a Concern" at Google Maps  (View post)

John McGuinness [PersonRank 1]

Thursday, December 11, 2008
11 years ago3,755 views

Would that qualify as a concern?

aaron [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

I actually noticed that when they updated Google Maps and thought to myself "hey, that DOES sound better"

Todd Mintz [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

I would be concerned since it appears that Google Maps is telling me to drive directly through the airport terminal wall :.)

Ryan Steele [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

Here's another theory: they were going to make it say "Report a violation of privacy or an inappropriate image or something else that we should probably take a look at", but that seemed to be a bit verbose, and "Report a concern" was nice and short yet still encapsulated the message they were trying to convey.

Just a thought.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Ryan, something like "Report an issue" or "Report a problem" would be just as short :)

Neil Fraser [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

My pet peeve is "We apologize for any inconvenience." That's a weasel phrase which fails to even acknowledge that you were inconvenienced. Better would be "We apologize for the inconvenience."

A similar weasel phrase is "We regret any offence caused."

Jeff [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

To me, saying "Report a problem" sounds like a technical glitch on the website and "Report a privacy violation" is really specific.

Perhaps Google was just trying to find a word that covered everything.

dave [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

You find this kind of language a lot in India, where I'm currently living. I describe it at the bottom of this post:
ourdelhistruggle.wordpress.com ...

The use of such language allows an entity to avoid taking responsibility while still communicating a concept. In India, you often hear the phrase "Inconvenience is regretted", which allows the entity to communicate the concept of regret without actually admitting they're the one regretting something.

Semantics!

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I like the phrase
"Thank you for your understanding."
"Thank you for not littering."
"Thank you for not smoking."
etc. (said before one even had the chance to actually do or not do understand/ litter/ smoke :)).

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

"Report a problem" implies that Google has a problem.

"Report a concern" implies that the user has a problem.

Ryan Steele [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

[put at-character here]Philipp: Roger is on the right track, but I think the important distinction between "Report a problem" and "Report a concern" is that the first implies that the link is meant to be used if there is a technical problem, whereas the second better encompasses privacy and offensive content issues. In the parlance of HCI, one might say "Report a concern" has better affordance.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Good points Ryan, I've added your comment as an update to the post.

Dennis G. Jerz [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

Ryan (2 comments up), you're right, "problem" has a technical as well as a social meaning, and it's very likely that the average user will think of the technical meaning first.

Roger (3 comments up) does a good job applying Occam's razor to my speculations. The rephrasing probably has very little to do with usability, and more to do with using shaping the user's response to the information Google provides (which, because Google is never evil, can't possibly be part of any problem).

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