Apple also is a heavy user of Enterprise Java. Try finding pages where they can take input.
That said, yeah, given the choice I would a) devote engineering resources to getting human-readable URLs (SEO and UX benefits for reasonably little work) and b) prefer frameworks which make that the default because they are likely clueful in other ways, too.
I remember times where back where I lived "walkman" was a plain noun meaning "any kind of portable cassette player".
Duck Tape is trademarked, but it's possible that was the original term for it. It's weird.
I don't appreciate the downvote.
Most people never learn how to use the address bar. Period. It's not that the URLs are too hard or complex to learn, it's that they don't know there's anything they could learn to type in there.
Sony UK's is just a product information page, and it has a much cleaner URL (albeit not as clean as Apple's).
Quickly letting users use the age of the article is a good reason too, but only for blog-style content. I don't think you should use the year trick with evergreen content (example.com/2010/terms-of-service for example).
For those that are also interested: http://www.amazon.com/Design-Everyday-Things-Donald-Norman/d...
I really do wonder if Apple can continue without Jobs or whether it will decay into management kingdoms like Sony and other large organizations.
I love the reference to "all of this business at the top". Perhaps there's a design principle in there. If a user is ever referring to "all this business..." then you've gone off track.
Clean URLs can help developers to better manage their site. This is because they provide an intuitive way to organize site content. By design, this also means that users can find information easily.
As a simple example, imagine surfing an exotic car website. You want to find information about the Koenigsegg Agera. Now, imagine the following two URLs which both point to the page about the Koenigsegg Agera:
Clearly, the URL in example 2 offers:
1. An intuitive way to navigate the site's content. As a user, you could enter a different vehicle name, using the given URL structure, to locate other vehicles:
2. SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This is a topic unto itself. In general, one of the areas of SEO is optimizing URLs in order to achieve the best results with regard to indexing and ranking. Please see Google's Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide (see link, below) for a more in-depth treatment of this topic.
Google's Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide (See page 8, "Improve the structure of your URLs")
Search Engine Optimization
The rest was pure speculation on what "users" do with URLs -- aka some engineer's personal opinion on what's pretty. Can anybody provide links to usability studies regarding what users actually do with URLs? This would be of far more value than some company's personal standard, be it Google or someone else.
My experience is unfortunately anecdotal, but all my users just bookmark or copy-paste whatever they see. They are more concerned that the site has good navigation than that they can alter the URL or type it in directly. They use a starting point and then move on from there. So I have a hard time believing statements in these documents like "users may remove a part of the URL, thinking it is not important". The one exception is that I have seen newer users type "www." before URLs that do not need it.
My clean URL example was just an example. I did not intend to infer that the world is primarily navigating via URL manipulation, but it came across that way. Rather, I meant that it can be a nice touch for usability, in certain cases. For example, power users are going to quickly notice, "Hey, I can find a vehicle by manipulating the URL by using the 'manufacturer_carmodel' pattern." Of course, the site would have normal search functionality, so that traditional users could locate vehicles in that manner as well. In the end, it is more about SEO, but with the clean URL paradigm, you get both (again, in some cases), so it can be a win-win. Also, the URLs look nice when they appear in search results (i.e., nice keyword-based URLs instead of URLs with query strings and IDs) which can lend itself to readability/usability.
Of course, even with clean URLs, a case where it probably does not work is a blog (as noted by romaniv). For example, no one is going to manipulate a long URL string for a blog posting; they will simply navigate the site for the information. Although, here is a real-world example that I have encountered: I have come across multi-part blog postings via Google searches. In many cases, "Part X" displays in the search results, but not "Part 1." In these cases, it is always nice when these sites are designed with clean URLs, making it a breeze to simply copy the URL from the search results, and change the "X" to "1". Clearly, this is not easy (or possible) to do if the URL is a query string with an unintuitive article ID.
Ultimately, I think that clean URLs are about SEO, but I think they can have a usability factor, again, in some cases and well, for "power users" at least. I probably should have said "power users" instead of "users" in my original post.
This assumes the user knows the correct product name and the rules you use to normalize it (ariel-atom vs arie+atom vs ariel_atom). This not the case for most URLs. I don't remember the exact title for each article in some blog. In fact, I'm more likely to remember
Please note the underscore between 'e' and 's'. Websites usually normalize their titles when putting them into URLs, and they don't just URL-encode them, because URL encoding looks bad. They use arbitrary normalization and shortening rules.
Also, why would the user navigate via URLs instead of using website's UI?
I think URLs should be reasonably short and have no junk, but I also think that the whole "put-words-into-urls" movement is driven mostly by SEO considerations that have nothing to do with user experience.
SEO is another matter, self-descriptive URLs are generally ranked higher.
Google does. If you have a non-descriptive URL, you're missing out on an opportunity for search-engine optimization.