What is it?
This is a pattern found in Algolia onboarding flow. When users are creating an Algolia account, they are shown a map with all the regions in which Algolia has servers while giving real-time latency feedback depending on the selection.
How does this interaction or pattern work?
Algolia is a service that allows companies to build externally hosted search engine experiences that are sophisticated, scalable and extensible. They do this by abstracting all the infrastructure and technical systems that are necessary to construct fast index searching.
One big part of their service is the fact that they manage it externally. Although this is an essential part of how Algolia provides their service is also an aspect that requires a clear understanding of the customers since this means that there's added latency between Algolia servers, the customer's server, and the client.
As part of the onboarding process, Algolia asks its customers to select a region in where to host their indexes and search system.
To increase clarity Algolia shows a map of the world with different pinpoints where they have servers. The customers can select from the map or a dropdown below the map.
In this step, Algolia customer can also see in real-time what's the latency in ms to each of the locations. This helps their customers to understand how the region selection can impact the performance of their final implementation.
How does it help or delight the user?
Clarity, Learnability, Feedback Loop.
Algolia's business operates on top of the compelling idea that search can be a managed service instead of an internal dependency that can cause complexity for companies that need powerful search capabilities but don't have the time, expertise or money to develop those solutions.
However, the concept of managed and hosted search means that the indexes and core user experience don't necessarily operate on the customer's server.
By showing the real-time latency as well as the actual geographical positions of their servers, Algolia increases the clarity and understanding behind their service and helps customers to decide where Algolia should host their managed experience.
A simple but not so effective solution would have been to add a radio group or dropdown in these regions, but in this case, the experience allows Algolia's customers to understand with little effort the geographical context and the benefits of selecting one region over the others.
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