Google Blogoscoped

Forum

Joe's Google Redesign: Search Efficiency  (View post)

Ryan [PersonRank 0]

Tuesday, October 24, 2006
13 years ago11,660 views

yes, very unintuitive.. the other links on the right just aren't that self explanatory. Nobody would figure it out.

not to mention the ajax required for the first result preview would add a lot of bandwith to the Google servers.

I think the right answer here, is the one Google's currently doing.

Searching for a term sometimes shows images, news results, web results, and e commerce results all in one. It pulls the best from everything for you.

Then, with a word already in the box, if you click images, or books etc... it drills down and only searches those.

I think broad search accompanied by refinement is where it's at.

shamess [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

Huge problem with that though would be the bandwidth it uses. Google doesn't even use double quotes around it's HTML tags where it should because they say that'd kill their servers, so doing most the stuff you've said might make it better for the user, but would kill the servers.

/pd [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

But server and Bandwidth is not the main issues... its scaleable..!!

the user experince needs enhancements and Mambo is just bringin ideas to the table. Some maybe bad and other good. At least he has the passion to design and be creative..

===>"Searching for a term sometimes shows images, news results, web results, and e commerce results all in one. It pulls the best from everything for you."

How does google know its best for "me" ?? That's a one size fits all concept.. which is wrong..and btw with CES I can verticalize my own search :)-

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

It reminds me of this Yahoo Search version:
instant.search.yahoo.com/

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

[Edit: Grammar changes in the info box on Joe thanks to Tony!]

Andrew Hitchcock [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I think #2 looks pretty neat. Have you considered making it so that tabbing selects a different search. If I can avoid it, I prefer to not use my mouse when Googling :)

Mambo [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

One of the considerations for next week is to make an HTML Google mockup.

>> Have you considered making it so that tabbing selects a different search.

That should be easy enough with tabindex.

piotr [PersonRank 2]

13 years ago #

I think they all look stupid.

Mambo [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

>> I think they all look stupid.

Well, thanks. That's a very constructive comment.

Niraj Sanghvi [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I like the idea of number one (eliminating the submit button), but I would do that by moving the "search types" from above the search box to underneath it. Somehow I don't like the look of them all stacked up on the right...the current Google Page has a pretty nice symmetry (except for a few small links).

T-bone 6000 [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

"If it ain't broke..."

I've never seen anyone confused by Google. There's a billion other web pages out there in desperate need of usability enhancements.

Sometimes an extra click isn't the worst thing in the world. I feel that links should always be links and buttons should always be buttons.

China [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

I don't like the idea 1 and 2, but the 3° is great and it's to calculate that google servers can benefits from a "feel lucky" directly prompted!

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I know it may sound stupid, but who actually visits google.com and why?

/pd [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

==>>"who actually visits google.com "

I dunna why, but Hitwise reports that a couple of million peeps visit it :)_

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

no, I mean the homepage. Firefox, Opera + IE7 have a search box, IE6 could have a toolbar. So why would you visit google.com?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

> I know it may sound stupid, but who actually visits google.com and why?

I do. To search. I sometimes search right in the address bar, but never using the lil' search box in my browser (which is set to a German – English dictionary anyway, which I use a lot).

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

PS: You could of course also skip the browser itself to enter a query, and search using Google Desktop's Ctrl+Ctrl short-cut.

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

So you use Google Desktop, after all?

/pd [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Wel I use GDS extensively when at home.. not only the ctrl+ctrl shortcut..but clips, news feeds etc etc.. its great!!

joe [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

i don't like the idea of having to use the mouse to do a simple search. I have muscle memory to type a search term then hit "enter". I exclusively to go to "images" or whatever after I do the search, not before.

T-bone 6000 [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

I visit the google home page for almost all of my searches (I even have the google toolbar installed). It's just habit. My guess is that most people do.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

> So you use Google Desktop, after all?

Me? No...

John Marshall [PersonRank 3]

13 years ago #

Mambo's designs are always awesome.
I love this one:
blogoscoped.com/forum/70772.ht ...

J.P. [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

How do I make that 3rd entry of yours show up when I hit the "Google" logo on Google toolbar? Or, how can I access your version period?

I like it.

Niraj Sanghvi [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I almost always use a firefox shortcut I setup so I can just type "goo searchterm" in the address bar to jump to a Google search. But at work I make extensive use of the Google personalized home to not only search but get RSS updates and other info.

ranon [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

I can see a problem with your design.

Many people do not do a single search for say images. Multiple iterative searches are used. With your idea, it would not be possible to do this with the enter key on the keyboard. Every time a mouse click would be required, which would get pretty tiresome, pretty quick.

On average, it seems that a single click to go to images would be a better option, and then further searches are done easier.

Travis Harris [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

<<PS: You could of course also skip the browser itself to enter a query, and search using Google Desktop's Ctrl+Ctrl short-cut.>>
Why didn't I know that!! That's rather cool!

The only reason I go to Google.com is when I know I want my search history to be saved. For some reason when I search from my Firefox bar (99% of the time) it does not save into my history.

I actually think that these ideas (2&3) are GREAT! Really these new links would work identically to how the links work now PLUS they would pick up the change that you have not submitted. No real downside. As far as being more confusing to the user, I don't think that it would be at all.

The question does come down to if Google's server can handle the bandwidth for the Google suggest style result. Since this will surly be ajax, how would it be much more bandwidth intense than Google suggest which sends dozens of words? Also, if you don't retrieve the first result until a full second after user inactivity that would save a ton too.

Mambo [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Thanks for all the great comments, people!

I will take them all into consideration when developing the next lot of things.

At the moment, I have a Google Group on developing my Google mockups, so I can test smaller ideas, and develop them further more quickly (/pd's idea – and a very good one).

Feel free to sign up for a membership there (or just have a read):

groups-beta.google.com/group/m ...

And a massive thanks to Philipp for featuring my work.

Domisto [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

I too use a personalized google homepage.

As for the designs, why not just have the search types move below the search bar and then function as they do in Idea 1? Is there a need for a 3rd column to replace a 2nd row?

Randal Lewis [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

I like the option with the different links on the side for the action but make them buttons underneath the search field. Add a checkbox for "I'm feeling Lucky" above the buttons and you're good to go.

RC [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I liked your approach. Its very nice. Number 2 is cool for me.

Google's homepage is an almost optimal design. So, there's not much for an improvement. On the other hand, yahoo or msn hmm, you can do a lot!!

Keep up your cool stuff.

Mambo [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Thanks.

RC said:

>> Google's homepage is an almost optimal design.

That's why I like doing it. I like to analyse what they're doing right, as well as what they're doing wrong.

In my opinion, there is still plenty of problems with Google, when we go beyond the basic web search. But I don't have time to go through them all!

Rong Ou [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

You can actually implement these ideas pretty transparently with a few greasemonkey scripts.

Brian Mingus [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Google has stated that they keep the I'm Feeling Lucky button because their users expect it to be there, even if they never use it.

james [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

sorry to say...i like the way it works now....
your ideas only take up valuable screen space and add nothing new from my perspective.

only possible change i would suggest (extreme perhaps...)
by highlighting the type of search on mouseclick of that type -(AJAX) with a background color...(yellow?) and then as per usual click on the the search button....

Alister Cameron [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

Missing something really BIG folks...

The look of the Google search homepage is a large part of their "brand".

As such a few key things won't change, period. Foremost that the search input is centered under the Google logo.

Moving that to the left would break a cardinal brand rule, unspoken as it may be.

So play as you may, but if the search input is no longer centred under the Google logo, you've moved away from the brand.

And that's not going to happen!

- Alister

[Signature URL removed – Tony]

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

One way to optimize the homepage without changing anything visually would be to add some JavaScript so that when you enter a query and click "Images"... the query will be actually searched for in images. It's weird (and inconsistent) Google doesn't already do this.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Philipp – I agree. When I read Mambo's article, I thought that the home page search box behaved exactly as you've just described. Only when I tried it, did I realise it didn't. (I guess I was getting confused by the behaviour in the SERP.) BTW, the links on the home page already use JavaScript in order to pass the search terms between the pages, so it would be no big deal to change this.

However, I guess they don't do this on the home page because it could be seen as bad usability – i.e. surely you should only get a SERP when you click a "Search" button? On the results page, it's different because the results have already been returned. (And in the days when those links were tabs, that made much more sense.)

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

> However, I guess they don't do this on the home
> page because it could be seen as bad usability

But when you click on News or Maps, it does show the SERPs. Completely inconsistent, so I don't believe there's necessarily some great plan behind this (might be, might not be)... just like I don't believe there's some great plan behind the incredibly deprecated HTML on their homepage. I know since it's Google people always *suspect* a great plan behind everything (e.g. see the thread on Google's deprecated HTML) but I don't believe that's always the case :)

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Weird! I never noticed that it actually worked for News and Maps. I guess that could just be totally accidental due to the way those URLs work. For example:

Google Web Search
Home page: /webhp
Search page: /search

Google Images
Home page: /imghp
Search page: /images

Google News
Home page: /nwshp
Search page: /nwshp (although /news also works)

Google Maps
Home page: /maps
Search page: /maps

So, if they're just pointing to the home page of each service and append the "q=" parameter, it would work for News and Maps albeit perhaps accidentally. Accidental or not, the fact that it's inconsistent is really bad.

Trogdor [PersonRank 6]

13 years ago #

I'd say, avoid bringing the first result immediately, and group the various serach options together below the search box. But, make all of them buttons, each with a small, colorful icon inside the button next to the word saying how it searches.

Then, as only 5ish options are given, if you hit the "more" bit, instead of bringing up a new page or something, just make another set of buttons appear, below the first set. Then you'd have probably 15-20 buttons, but that would easily + simply get someone to all Google searches very quickly, without loading any pages in between.

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

Forum home

Advertisement

 
Blog  |  Forum     more >> Archive | Feed | Google's blogs | About
Advertisement

 

This site unofficially covers Google™ and more with some rights reserved. Join our forum!