If you had to narrow down Google’s strengths to just the top one, it’s likely that their ability to hire great employees would be it. Their lineup of amazing engineers, innovators, and experts establishes a foundation for the company that’s incredibly hard to break. Industry-wide, Googlers are respected for both their contributions and their opinions. Thus, when a Googler as prominent as Irene Au gives an external site a thumbs up, it’s no small deal.
According to a report from Business Insider, Irene Au was “gushing” about Quora. Quora, a question and answer site that works in a semi-Wiki collaborative fashion, has been getting a lot of compliments of late, including from AVC.com and Robert Scoble. But Irene’s statements are far more direct and specific.
She stated that she admired their design, and that it was very successful “not only visually, but also for interaction.” She further states that their mechanics are excellent for providing high-quality content for users (avoiding the pitfall of Yahoo! Answers, which Au says is comprised mostly of “spammy answers”). Au concluded her statement by saying that she visited the site on a daily basis, and gave a big “Kudos to Rebekah Cox and the team [at Quora].”
And who is Au, exactly, that her opinion should carry so much weight? Irene Au is head of design over at Google, with a focus on user experience. She’s been working for Google since 2006, but spent the prior eight years at Yahoo, and the two before that at Netscape. Her Google responsibilities focus primarily on improving human-computer interaction and end-user experience, all through advanced engineering psychology and site design. Given that the areas she compliments are just up her alley, the stamp of approval for Quora is truly significant.