I recollect hearing Jeff/Joel say in one of the podcasts that their primary use case when designing Stack Overflow was someone typing a question into Google, seeing a Stack Overflow page as the first hit, clicking on the link, and getting the answer.

I'm saying this at work an awful lot lately, that as website designers this is the most important workflow for our customers. We know from our traffic analytics that this is what is happening, but not everybody has internalized what this means in turns of site design. I'm attributing this to Jeff/Joel, but I'm not sure I'm remembering this correctly.

Can someone help me find this quote? A search of the transcript Wiki hasn't turned it up.


1 Answer 1


Here are a few mentions. There are many more.

Podcast 46:

So your web search engine; I mean one of the things we'll, we talk about all the time is how our very original design is: the way StackOverflow works is, you go to your favorite search engine, you type a question, you hit enter, and then you find the result [in StackOverflow], and that is the most important use case of StackOverflow; things that are already in there. And after you've seen three or four of those, you notice they're all coming up on this site called StackOverflow, you might say "Hey, I wonder what else is going on here", and, you may not ask questions on there, for a while, you may participate, you may just sort of look around, you may kind of hang out and, and what we want is the home page to be just some sort of interesting questions, where you can learn some interesting kind of stuff. -- Joel Spolsky

Podcast 19:

The beta does not in any way solve the people who come to the site, because the beta is invisible to Google, so our most common use case which is gonna be somebody types a question into Google and the answer happens to be on StackOverflow is not even being tested in the beta. We don't even have that kind of audience. -- Joel Spolsky

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