Just hit refresh

I was talking a look at Google product search and wanted to think of the simplest test I could that might reveal a lot of information. After the page loads, if you simply hit the refresh button in your browser repeatedly, you'll be able to notice the following behaviors:

  • query response times change each time

  • some sponsors change each time, while others don't

  • column width (between product description and price) changes based on sponsor size

This gives me several ideas for testing and learning about the product. First, I feel like I could quickly program a script to track sponsor results and performance over time time. If I varied the search criteria for similar products, this could quickly be used to start to verify the accuracy of  adds and the rules for displaying them. This could also become a good no-load baseline for the performance of whatever environment you're testing in.

Understanding the relationship between sponsor text (number of characters) and column widths would be worth looking into. Might be an issue, might not (likely not and issue). But it's also something that can be verified quickly and repeatedly with the script that's pulled together.