Google ditch the name “Froogle” in favour of “Products”

A while back I blogged about how Google was missing a trick with the name “froogle”. In short, its an in-joke that a lot of people just didn’t get (a pun combining “Google” with “frugal”), and didn’t even realise that clicking on would take them to google’s product search tool.

A few days ago Google switched to the altogether more obvious & comprehensible label “Products” and “Product Search”. Marissa Mayer, Google’s VP of Search Products & User Experience blogged:

Today, we’re making some changes to how we help users find things to buy. You may be familiar with our product Froogle (a pun on “frugal”). Froogle offers a lot of great functionality and has helped many users find things to buy over the years, but the name caused confusion for some because it doesn’t clearly describe what the product does. [read full post]

I guess this is a bit of a boring post (“Don’t use incomprehensible labels” is a basic usability guideline), but the lesson here is that even for a user-centered company like Google, once a name becomes entrenched internally and gets attached to departments and job titles, it takes ages to change it.