It’s like… Like if you asked a friend if there was a Starbucks in his neighborhood and he said, yeah I think there’s one half a mile down, maybe. And you drive half a mile and see a big carwash place, and you park and walk in and ask to speak to the manager. And you tell the carwash manager how unhappy you are with this terrible new Starbucks redesign.
The simple version of the above is not knowing the difference between the browser’s Address field and Search field, or, searching for the site URL that you visit every day. This is a widespread problem. I have spent the better part of three years watching people do this. Despite my admonitions my wife does this. I know PhD’s that do this. It is like never remembering any phone numbers and calling the operator every time you want to talk to one of your friends (which makes me think: what if there was a charge for search like the connection charge for 411?).
Is this error the user’s fault? Maybe, but due to its ubiquity I think it is a usability problem. Google Chrome’s unified address bar may be one solution. But even then false positives like the RWW case can happen. For most people, the internet is still hard.