Thursday, May 17, 2007

New Search Experience with Google Experimental

The ever-experimental Google now redefines our Search Experience with new User Interfaces for Search. The new interfaces provide a more "integrated" search experience, that means that you don't have to go about looking for different search engines for videos, blogs, news, pictures etc.

New Navigation Features

Navigation within search results and within different Google sites is going to be a whole new experience with a top navigation bar as seen in this screenshot:

Google results: The new top navigation bar


But the best part about the new navigation is the contextual navigation links on Search Results. With this, for any keyword searched, if there are relevant results in any other Google service like Maps, Blogs, Videos, the links to those would also appear. For example, a search for India would result in a dynamically generated navigation bar with links to results from Google's News Maps Blogs Groups Images Video etc. But I always liked the Live Search top navigation. At least the "More" option is better thought out!

Google Search results: The tall "More Dropdown



Live Search results: The multi columned "More" Dropdown

Experimental Interfaces

Three new experimental interfaces, and three very different ways to search. But definitely interesting. The Lab has come out with something stunning here, I guess.

Timeline and map views

See results on a timeline or on a map. The search results are dug to extract key dates and location and the results are shown on a timeline and map. The first time I saw that bar graph depicting the timeline, for a moment I thought Google had used the wonderful ajaxified slider timeline that was first used by the guys at Measuremap. But it isn't and one fails to understand why.

For example, a search for "Indian Independence", came up with the following results on the timeline:


Google Timeline Search

Left hand navigation and Right Navigation Context Menu

The other two interfaces are to allow users to search deeper and look for a particular type of content like images, videos, patents, products or news. Nothing really special about these. And I am not too sure why we have the right side navigation menu at all. Right side in Google the area with supposedly the least attention on the screen for users. So why the navigation? The left hand navigation contains 1.) Links to search results from within different Google sites and 2.) Related Searches (like the ones to the right column in Live Search)

Of all these, I think the Left Navigation is something that could be integrated into the search results page now. It is quite intuitive to use and people won't take one minute to get used to it.


Elsewhere on the web:
Google Marries the Static and Live Web
Google Experimental: Opt-In To Google User Interface Experiments.

1 comment:

Prasoon said...

Its all turning beautiful and user-friendly.... :)