Google UX Study 2012 Detailed Results

Last updated on
21 September 2016

For a full understanding of how this study was run, consult these links:


All sessions were reviewed and analyzed for common problems, each of these were noted and collected into this table. The results where recorded, and where applicable recordings to relevant parts are linked.

Core: Content Creation

Description Priority Possible Solution Video Link(s) Issue #
"Save content type" and "save and add fields" is an unnecessarily confusing button choice - user is given no distinction between their functionality

"Not too sure what the difference is" U3,


Clicking the "Format tips" opens in same window and user loses information. High
This page should open in a new window



--> user 8,  U8,


"i could see in the future wanting to make this more inline and having the text wrap around and i'm not sure how i would do that" U4

87994 FIXED!
Also users don't really understand what they can do with different input types.  The fact that there is no WYSIWYG just leaves content formatting in a state of uncertainty.

The auto-completion widget on the add node form doesn't work fast enough to keep up with the speed of users typing keywords. They are not fully aware how autocomplete functions because of it. Also the circle icon is not well understood.

Doesn't realize auto-completion because it goes too slow U6

Icon not understood U2

Users lose track of orphan content if they don't create a menu link for it

U2, U2,



U1 doesn't understand why a menu tab was created,

U4 doesn't know where to access the form she thinks she made,


Vertical tabs overload users with information that is not relevant for simple content creation. They click through each tab and don't understand most of the options.
Reassessment of what should be exposed and what can remain hidden or more clicks away.

Going through each tab, experiencing confusion along the way U4, U2

"Trimmed", "teaser", "full" are not defined. Ex: "trimmed" vs "full" in node preview

U5, U8


Core: Node Preview

Description Priority Possible Solution Video Link(s) Issue #
Node preview does not accurately show the visual display of posts. Also, users do not understand the context of the preview.

Tags display differently in preview U8

Confused about preview context U8, U8, U1

Links from preview interface send users off page and cause them to lose what they were working on.

User clicks "Add new comment" U3

User clicks "Read more" U3

U4 clicks on a link from body field within preview

Core: Fields

Description Priority Possible Solution Video Link(s) Issue #
Field labels are not understood by users in multiple contexts.

From node creation page U8 U5

While viewing a node U8

The difference between adding an existing field and a new field to
content types is lost on users who don't have a full understanding
of the field/content type concept. Drupal doesn't help explain this
at all.

On content type field admin screen: List add existing field before
create a new field?

U8 U3

Users don't understand terminology used in fields. For example,
user 4 didn't perceive any relationship between the concept of tags
and the terminology Term Reference

U3, U4, U4

Field machine names are unnecessarily exposed to users when adding
new fields to content.

U6, U4, U7

When adding a new field, users must complete a long multi-form
process. Too much exposure from the very start leads to frustration
and confusion.

Power user adds new field, miffed by long field form. U4

U5 adding a new field, considers all options, unsure of actions:

"I don't think I did anything in that last screen, did I?"

Misinterprets field settings dialog and gets upset about not seeing a preview of his field.


Power user doesn't understand "maximum value" option for image field U8

The concept of field input and field output formats is not
intuitive to users and Drupal doesn't help communicate how they

U4: "i can't imagine that many scenarios in which someone would want to see the date in a different way when they are entering it than they actually want to display it on the website"

Similar trouble:



Core: Navigating Drupal

Description Priority Possible Solution Video Link(s) Issue #
D7 Dashboard doesn't seem useful to new users; in fact its
seemingly random presentation of information is confusing.


U4 Opens and closes quickly U4 and again U4 and again U4

New users rely on breadcrumbs. But sometimes they are

Breadcrumbs in core should be reassessed to insure they are

U5 getting flustered at breadcrumbs and idea of finding a page again

Core: Image Styles

Description Priority Possible Solution Video Link(s) Issue #
Users are frustrated that image styles is not found within display field settings. They also get confused by "Custom Display Settings" High

U5, U6, U7, U8

Users don't see the prompt to save updated image style. High
Save updated image style automatically or popup a butterbar notifying the user to save

Twice Didn't Save

U8, U8, and U8, U5

Trailing whitespace in image styles name prevents user from saving it without providing context High
Trim image style name (probably all form inputs) U5
Default image styles are much smaller than users anticipated Low

U5, U6, U7   

The difference between changing an image style for a field and adjusting an image field's maximum image resolution is not communicated.

U8, U5, U5

The term "Image toolkit" is misleading. When trying to find image styles, users always click here first and are not attracted to "image styles."


Core: Themes

Description Priority Possible Solution Video Link(s) Issue #
User doesn't understand theme names.
"Bartik" and "Seven" do not convey to users that they are themes. The Themes menu/interface should be more explicit about this.


After creating content, the comment form on Bartik looks like the node edit form, users try to hit save Low
Perhaps make save comment button smaller or less similar to administrative buttons?




Adding a link to a parent item as a child doesn't print, since Bartik doesn't support child items.


Core: Menus

Description Priority Possible Solution Video Link(s) Issue #
"Add menu link" is not understood by many users on first impression.

U5, U2

Users do not know the difference between menus when adding a menu link across interfaces. Sometimes they misinterpret names. Medium

U5, U8

Select dropdown is an unnecessarily daunting interface for users when choosing the default menu parent for a content type.

"this is crazy in here" U8


Core: Contact Module

Description Priority Possible Solution Video Link(s) Issue #
Contact module has no mention of "e-mail" in the description, which users would intuitively look for  Medium

U4 only CTRL + F's for "email" which is not part of contact module's description. "i'm not seeing an email form listed in the modules"

Core: General

Description Priority Possible Solution Video Link(s) Issue #
The process of installing, enabling, permission-ing and configuring modules is not made clear enough to the user.



"i'm not seeing just a really straightforward list of instructions" U4 on module page)

U4 first installs wrong version U4 "oh well this is disabled?" U4

U4 enables the contact module but then doesn't know what to do.. no obvious next step

"Pager" is not defined for new user


System doesn't trim "/" from user-inputted menu links High
Account for possible slashes and whitespace at the beginning and end of urls

From add menu item form U4

From alias in Add node form U7


Admin Menu

Description Priority Possible Solution Video Link(s) Issue #
"Content" option in "content" administration menu is not descriptive.


The word list is overused in Drupal's administration menu structure. "List" can be interpreted many ways and is not clear to a new/intermediate users. Low
Clarify all occurrences of list in the admin menu structure.


It is easy for users to get lost and confused with the daunting amount of options in admin menu.

U5, U5

Date Module

Description Priority Possible Solution Video Link(s) Issue #
User not prompted to save date format after updating multiple times "oh yes that finally worked. i don't know why it didn't work the other 2 times" High
Prompt user to save once changes have been made

U4 and U4 again and finally U4 gets it

When updating the date format, user is not prompted to save the updated selection High Prompt user to save! U4
Date module wizard confuses user. "Oh that's not helpful."


Pathauto Module

Description Priority Possible Solution Video Link(s) Issue #
Pathauto module description doesn't include the keyword URL, which users look for Medium

U7, U7, and again U7 says "I'm looking for a place that says URL and automation" after repeatedly seeing the word path. The term path just doesn't stick.


Description Priority Possible Solution Video Link(s) Issue #
Views save button is not intuitively located, and can be easily be pushed offscreen.

U6 U7

"okay it's saved, right?" U5

Users are confused about the meaning of "All displays" and "This page (override)."

U8, U5

User confused about the placement of "remove" under "rearrange" Low


Views creation wizard doesn't visually emphasize that user needs
to enter a views name

U8, twice: U8 U7,

U8 confused about display options   

Unclear division between views editing and preview.  Users
expect WYSIWYG-style editing capabilities but are uninformed that it
is only a preview.

U5, U8, U8, U7

Views name machine name is made visible to users when views wizard
form fails to validate.


List of views is overwhelming, unsearchable, and contains more
information than necessary

U8: "lots of words", U6U6, U6

Description Priority Possible Solution Video Link(s) Issue #
Searching for a specific keyword on Drupal does not immediately yield the desired module result. Medium

U3 searches for Date module on d.o but isn't given great results