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My theory is that they hunt like lunatics this engagement and time spent number. My engagement increased with new Gmail because it's slow as fuck. Of course I click around like a clown and wait, probably product manager happy that people use their product for longer now.



It's amazing how slow Google products are becoming. Firebase is my own pet peeve: opening a single crash report takes easily 20-30 seconds. It's unbelievable. Should be a split second for fluid workflow. Aren't they using their own products? How is this acceptable to any engineer or manager?

I'd use anything else for the slowness alone if I could decide the tools at work myself.


Glad it's not just me. I have an HTC 10, which was a flagship phone when released 3 years ago. Every single third-party app I use, including some moderately demanding games, works perfectly fine. Every single Google app is at the very least frustratingly slow, like Gmail, if not outright unusable, like Maps. It seriously pauses for 5-10 seconds anytime anything on the screen changes. One has to tolerate several such pauses to simply search for a location. This is on their own damn platform for crying out loud.

The best part is that 10 years ago I used to have an absolute piece of dog shit WinCE phone that failed to even keep up with my typing speed in its stock SMS app. Google Maps worked perfectly on that device.


Are you using Firefox or Chrome?


I am going to report it is slow on both, when the bs is disabled. Especially slow on other browsers. You know there are other browsers right? Google seems confused and angered when I dont use one of the 2 they own. Firefox is only around because they fund it discreetly to avoid antitrust, while is still sends them nearly all the same tracking metrics.


What do you mean by "when the bs is disabled"?


why would this matter?


In my experience analytics usually become a hot topic in product group of the company when product evolution stop. We did all the major features but we still need growth, so to pick new direction we need some insight on our users.


Seriously, new Gmail is absolutely horrible slow dogshit.

And it is even worse in firefox than in chrome.

It takes 30s to 1 min to load(!). It has cached last view, which loads fast.. then it goes unresponsive for bloody 30s to 1 min anyways.

3 different machines were used to test this - i5 6th gen laptop, i7 7th gen pc, i7 3rd gen pc - all of them with plenty of ram(at least 16gb).


Maybe your "engagement" increased, but in this case your "time to task completion" did not. In most cases analytics is much more nuanced than you might think. And the reason why something got worse for you is because it got better for someone else.


>your "time to task completion" did not

So they're driving down the time it takes to do what they magically infer I'm trying to do. Is this why whenever I try to organize my gmail box I give up 10 minutes in because the UI is slow and bullshit? Because it's good for metrics that I can't make my gmail account anywhere near as useful as my work email?


What you describe is a caricature of a product manager. In reality, differences or changes in “time spent” or other metrics are extremely useful to explain problems and opportunities for improvements that might otherwise be missed.

Most certainly you could misuse the statistics for blind number worshipping, and I’m sure there are many anecdotes of that kind of behaviour. But I’m also quite certain that successful organizations can use these to improve their products in meaningful ways. I suspect any gmail product manager who tried to slow down their product (or resisted fixes) to improve meaningless time spent metrics would be crucified.




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