Google Image search list new feature

26 Jan 2007 - 3:24am
7 years ago
17 replies
890 reads
Minkó Misi
2007

Hi everyone, have you noticed, that Google renewed it's image searching
feature?
you can take a look at it for example here:

http://images.google.com/images?svnum=10&hl=hu&q=flowers&btnG=Keres%C3%A9s

i used to look after images here, and a bit frustrating to me that they
have hidden information about the images such as size, width, height,
format... I don't know, I couldn't say i like it a lot. The site looks
more clear, emphasis on the images, but if I need information on a
specific image, I have to roll over...

Comments

27 Jan 2007 - 4:08pm
cfmdesigns
2004

I don't know, I look at it and see a great improvement: less
clutter. Less "noise".

When I use images.google.com, I'm not looking for images under 60K or
exactly 128 pixels wide or from .de domain websites. I'm looking for
images of roses, or the Leaning Tower of Pisa, or Cher's fishnet-clad
buttocks. I can find those easier in the new layout. Once I've
found an image I may be interested in, *then* I need the rest of the
info.

The only real annoyance I had there was that if the image I want is
away from the mouse, I has to pas over and see the info from
everything in my way. A 1/2 second hover delay would possibly
improve that, at least for me

Why is it important to you to have all that fine grain detail
available for you 100% of the time on the hundreds and thousands of
images that you aren't interested in? Maybe there's something
obvious I'm missing.

-- Jim

On Jan 26, 2007, at 12:24 AM, Minkó Misi wrote:

> Hi everyone, have you noticed, that Google renewed it's image
> searching
> feature?
> you can take a look at it for example here:
>
> http://images.google.com/images?svnum=10&hl=hu&q=flowers&btnG=Keres%
> C3%A9s
>
> i used to look after images here, and a bit frustrating to me that
> they
> have hidden information about the images such as size, width, height,
> format... I don't know, I couldn't say i like it a lot. The site looks
> more clear, emphasis on the images, but if I need information on a
> specific image, I have to roll over...

27 Jan 2007 - 5:37pm
Jared M. Spool
2003

On Jan 27, 2007, at 4:08 PM, Jim Drew wrote:

> Maybe there's something obvious I'm missing.

I think what you're missing is people (including designers) don't
like change.

Jared

27 Jan 2007 - 10:34pm
Dave Chiu
2006

> Once I've found an image I may be interested in, *then* I need the
> rest of the info.

The implicit assumption is, of course, that you're interested
primarily in the *content* of the image. =) Put it this way, if I'm
looking for an image of the Nintendo Wii to use in a presentation,
yeah, I'm interested in pictures of the Wii, but I also need to know
that it's a *usable* image. There's a huge difference in quality
between a 100x100 and 1600x1200 image.

Sure, I can apply the image size filter, but that doesn't address the
fact that 1) I still need to compare images for more than just their
contents, 2) size setting is relative in Google Images, not absolute,
and 3) Google images shows images at approximately the same thumbnail
size, regardless if the original is huge or tiny.

As an example, search for "Wii" in Google Images and look at the
first image and the fifth image in the top row of results. They're
nearly identical in their contents and even their thumbnail
dimensions, yet the first image is 1600x1200 and the fifth is
400x400. Instead of looking and seeing this difference immediately, I
have to move my mouse over both images.

> Why is it important to you to have all that fine grain detail
> available for you 100% of the time on the hundreds and thousands of
> images that you aren't interested in? Maybe there's something
> obvious I'm missing.

Yes, I agree that the presentation of the images looks cleaner.
However, I'd also argue that it wasn't really a problem having the
text there because it's easy to distinguish between images and text.
It's not like you're going to mistake the images for text and vice
versa...the text doesn't get in the way of comparing image content
and you can ignore the text if you don't need it. Before, I could
compare images against two criteria (contents and size) before going
to the next results page. Now I have to roll over every single image
prior to going to the next screen. That's a bunch of work that I now
need to do which I didn't before.

Dave

28 Jan 2007 - 12:59am
Mark Canlas
2003

Whenever I see the new Google Images, I get this constant, nagging feeling
that the screen should be more sexy. With larger, higher-res pictures.
Appearance... isn't everything. But it's a lot. And Google Images feels
so... Old. It should be sexed up some how.

-Mark

> Hi everyone, have you noticed, that Google renewed it's image searching
> feature?
> you can take a look at it for example here:
>
> http://images.google.com/images?svnum=10&hl=hu&q=flowers&btnG=Keres%C3%
> A9s
>
> i used to look after images here, and a bit frustrating to me that they
> have hidden information about the images such as size, width, height,
> format... I don't know, I couldn't say i like it a lot. The site looks
> more clear, emphasis on the images, but if I need information on a
> specific image, I have to roll over...

28 Jan 2007 - 1:14am
cfmdesigns
2004

On Jan 27, 2007, at 7:34 PM, Dave Chiu wrote:

>> Once I've found an image I may be interested in, *then* I need the
>> rest of the info.
>
> The implicit assumption is, of course, that you're interested
> primarily in the *content* of the image. =) Put it this way, if I'm
> looking for an image of the Nintendo Wii to use in a presentation,
> yeah, I'm interested in pictures of the Wii, but I also need to
> know that it's a *usable* image.

And just what will you be using it for that isn't a copyright
violation, mmm? (Half-joking. There are completely legitimate
needs, of course, but I'll bet a huge chunk of "I need this in a
large enough size" ain't very "legitimate".)

>> Why is it important to you to have all that fine grain detail
>> available for you 100% of the time on the hundreds and thousands
>> of images that you aren't interested in? Maybe there's something
>> obvious I'm missing.
>
> Before, I could compare images against two criteria (contents and
> size) before going to the next results page. Now I have to roll
> over every single image prior to going to the next screen. That's a
> bunch of work that I now need to do which I didn't before.

Um, no. You only have to roll over any you are interested in, the
ones that the visual scan has told you are interesting enough to look
at the details of.

Unless you're lucky enough to get a whole page of potentially "right"
images, of course. Or if you're just a bit OCD and *have* to do them
all. <grin>

-- Jim

28 Jan 2007 - 8:50am
Jared M. Spool
2003

On Jan 27, 2007, at 10:34 PM, Dave Chiu wrote:

> The implicit assumption is, of course, that you're interested
> primarily in the *content* of the image. =) Put it this way, if I'm
> looking for an image of the Nintendo Wii to use in a presentation,
> yeah, I'm interested in pictures of the Wii, but I also need to know
> that it's a *usable* image.

Apparently, you also have an implicit assumption that users looking
for images for presentations is an important audience group to
Google. Do you know that to be the case?

> Yes, I agree that the presentation of the images looks cleaner.
> However, I'd also argue that it wasn't really a problem having the
> text there because it's easy to distinguish between images and text.

Really? How many user observations are you basing that argument on?

Dave, with all due respect, you're making a ton of assumptions about
an application used by millions based on your own individual needs.
How do you know Google didn't consider your needs, yet felt
sacrificing your convenience was the only way to achieve the best
design for the users they were actually targeting? Have you never
been in a situation where you had to mildly inconvenience some users
to improve things for others you needed to help more?

All the points you raise are true, if you assume you are Google's
target audience. Where did that assumption come from?

Jared

28 Jan 2007 - 9:28am
Dave Chiu
2006

Whoa, I am not claiming that I am the person Google Images was
designed for. Far from it. I am just pointing out that I think there
is at least one legitimate reason why people might be annoyed about
the change aside from simply being change averse. And yes, I'm basing
that example off my personal use.

Where in my previous email did I make any broad claims about the user
base of Google and their needs? Again, I proposed an example
answering Jim's original question:

> Why is it important to you to have all that fine grain detail
> available for you 100% of the time on the hundreds and thousands of
> images that you aren't interested in?

Perhaps in my haste to render an example, I mistook a rhetorical
question for a real one. (And just so it's clear, I don't mean that
in a snarky way.)

Cheers,
Dave

On Jan 28, 2007, at 8:50 AM, Jared M. Spool wrote:

>
> On Jan 27, 2007, at 10:34 PM, Dave Chiu wrote:
>
>> The implicit assumption is, of course, that you're interested
>> primarily in the *content* of the image. =) Put it this way, if I'm
>> looking for an image of the Nintendo Wii to use in a presentation,
>> yeah, I'm interested in pictures of the Wii, but I also need to know
>> that it's a *usable* image.
>
> Apparently, you also have an implicit assumption that users looking
> for images for presentations is an important audience group to
> Google. Do you know that to be the case?
>
>
>> Yes, I agree that the presentation of the images looks cleaner.
>> However, I'd also argue that it wasn't really a problem having the
>> text there because it's easy to distinguish between images and text.
>
> Really? How many user observations are you basing that argument on?
>
> Dave, with all due respect, you're making a ton of assumptions
> about an application used by millions based on your own individual
> needs. How do you know Google didn't consider your needs, yet felt
> sacrificing your convenience was the only way to achieve the best
> design for the users they were actually targeting? Have you never
> been in a situation where you had to mildly inconvenience some
> users to improve things for others you needed to help more?
>
> All the points you raise are true, if you assume you are Google's
> target audience. Where did that assumption come from?
>
> Jared
>
>
>

28 Jan 2007 - 9:45am
Jared M. Spool
2003

That's fine. I apologize if I assumed, when you were discussing the
designers' assumptions, you were talking about what you perceived as
general use, not your own specific use case.

I think it's important, as designers, we don't just assume that our
own experiences are representative of the target users. Our
experiences rarely are.

All too often on this list, we digress into our personal opinions
about design changes, playing monday-morning-quarterback about hard
decisions we know nothing about. It's critical we step back and
remove ourselves from the design, letting us ask the question, "What
rationale would make these changes a good idea?"

Jared

On Jan 28, 2007, at 9:28 AM, Dave Chiu wrote:

> Whoa, I am not claiming that I am the person Google Images was
> designed for. Far from it. I am just pointing out that I think
> there is at least one legitimate reason why people might be annoyed
> about the change aside from simply being change averse. And yes,
> I'm basing that example off my personal use.
>
> Where in my previous email did I make any broad claims about the
> user base of Google and their needs? Again, I proposed an example
> answering Jim's original question:
>
>> Why is it important to you to have all that fine grain detail
>> available for you 100% of the time on the hundreds and thousands
>> of images that you aren't interested in?
>
> Perhaps in my haste to render an example, I mistook a rhetorical
> question for a real one. (And just so it's clear, I don't mean that
> in a snarky way.)
>
> Cheers,
> Dave
>
> On Jan 28, 2007, at 8:50 AM, Jared M. Spool wrote:
>
>>
>> On Jan 27, 2007, at 10:34 PM, Dave Chiu wrote:
>>
>>> The implicit assumption is, of course, that you're interested
>>> primarily in the *content* of the image. =) Put it this way, if I'm
>>> looking for an image of the Nintendo Wii to use in a presentation,
>>> yeah, I'm interested in pictures of the Wii, but I also need to know
>>> that it's a *usable* image.
>>
>> Apparently, you also have an implicit assumption that users
>> looking for images for presentations is an important audience
>> group to Google. Do you know that to be the case?
>>
>>
>>> Yes, I agree that the presentation of the images looks cleaner.
>>> However, I'd also argue that it wasn't really a problem having the
>>> text there because it's easy to distinguish between images and text.
>>
>> Really? How many user observations are you basing that argument on?
>>
>> Dave, with all due respect, you're making a ton of assumptions
>> about an application used by millions based on your own individual
>> needs. How do you know Google didn't consider your needs, yet felt
>> sacrificing your convenience was the only way to achieve the best
>> design for the users they were actually targeting? Have you never
>> been in a situation where you had to mildly inconvenience some
>> users to improve things for others you needed to help more?
>>
>> All the points you raise are true, if you assume you are Google's
>> target audience. Where did that assumption come from?
>>
>> Jared
>>
>>
>>
>

28 Jan 2007 - 6:48pm
cfmdesigns
2004

On Jan 28, 2007, at 6:28 AM, Dave Chiu wrote:

>> Why is it important to you to have all that fine grain detail
>> available for you 100% of the time on the hundreds and thousands
>> of images that you aren't interested in?
>
> Perhaps in my haste to render an example, I mistook a rhetorical
> question for a real one. (And just so it's clear, I don't mean that
> in a snarky way.)

It wasn't really a rhetorical question, although my phrasing does
bias a bit that way. And I'm still interested in getting an answer I
can really grasp.

With a little less bias (maybe), rephrase that as "Why is it valuable
for users to have size and website information in front of them on
every picture all the time when they are having to sort through many
pages of images to find a handful they are interested in?" I'm
still not convinced that you're really getting much value out of it
in the Wii search you described.

A real test, of course, would be to put the two versions up head to
head and set up some sample tests to measure speed and user pleasure
differences:

* a bouquet of yellow roses with baby's breath
* The Leaning Tower of Pisa, in a postcard-quality landscape view
with the basilica shown, from a European website (because I have a
particular view in mind but I don't recall where I first saw it)
* Cher's fishnet-clad buttocks, suitable for desktop wallpaper (big
big big!)
* someone bicycling with a good contrast background so I can cut it
out in Photoshop and use it as the base for an art project I'm
working on; higher resolution/bigger size is better

I presume (would hope!) that Google did such tests.

-- Jim

28 Jan 2007 - 7:22pm
Mark Schraad
2006

A bit off topic, [and I do realize you were just presenting a use
case] but never the less worth stating. This is a violation of the
photographer's copyright unless you have the permission of the
photographer.

On Jan 28, 2007, at 6:48 PM, Jim Drew wrote:

> * someone bicycling with a good contrast background so I can cut it
> out in Photoshop and use it as the base for an art project I'm
> working on; higher resolution/bigger size is better

29 Jan 2007 - 3:57am
Minkó Misi
2007

I agree with you Jim, this is a good argument I think. And sometimes the
images overlap each other and the bottom stepper...

m.

> A real test, of course, would be to put the two versions up head to
> head and set up some sample tests to measure speed and user pleasure
> differences:
>
> * a bouquet of yellow roses with baby's breath
> * The Leaning Tower of Pisa, in a postcard-quality landscape view
> with the basilica shown, from a European website (because I have a
> particular view in mind but I don't recall where I first saw it)
> * Cher's fishnet-clad buttocks, suitable for desktop wallpaper (big
> big big!)
> * someone bicycling with a good contrast background so I can cut it
> out in Photoshop and use it as the base for an art project I'm
> working on; higher resolution/bigger size is better
>
> I presume (would hope!) that Google did such tests.
>
> -- Jim
>
> ________________________________________________________________
>

29 Jan 2007 - 2:45pm
Andrew Maben
2007

The gist here seems to be that some like/need the textual
information, and are vexed to varying degrees by its absence, while
others found it intrusive and are glad it's gone.

The question no one seems to have asked yet is: so how come Google
didn't allow users to make the choice for themselves?

Obviously an initial default would have to exist (presumably this
would be the new version) - but they already have provided the
ability to select some preferences...

Andrew

109b SE 4th Av
Gainesville
FL 32601

Cell: 352-870-6661

http://www.andrewmaben.com
andrew at andrewmaben.com

"In a well designed user interface, the user should not need
instructions."

On Jan 28, 2007, at 5:27 PM, discuss-
request at lists.interactiondesigners.com wrote:

> From: "Jared M. Spool" <jspool at uie.com>
> Date: January 28, 2007 9:45:11 AM EST
> To: Dave Chiu <dave at d4v3.net>
> Cc: ixd-discussion <discuss at ixdg.org>
> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Google Image search list new feature
>
>
> That's fine. I apologize if I assumed, when you were discussing the
> designers' assumptions, you were talking about what you perceived
> as general use, not your own specific use case.
>
> I think it's important, as designers, we don't just assume that our
> own experiences are representative of the target users. Our
> experiences rarely are.
>
> All too often on this list, we digress into our personal opinions
> about design changes, playing monday-morning-quarterback about hard
> decisions we know nothing about. It's critical we step back and
> remove ourselves from the design, letting us ask the question,
> "What rationale would make these changes a good idea?"
>
> Jared
>
> On Jan 28, 2007, at 9:28 AM, Dave Chiu wrote:
>
>> Whoa, I am not claiming that I am the person Google Images was
>> designed for. Far from it. I am just pointing out that I think
>> there is at least one legitimate reason why people might be
>> annoyed about the change aside from simply being change averse.
>> And yes, I'm basing that example off my personal use.
>>
>> Where in my previous email did I make any broad claims about the
>> user base of Google and their needs? Again, I proposed an example
>> answering Jim's original question:
>>
>>> Why is it important to you to have all that fine grain detail
>>> available for you 100% of the time on the hundreds and thousands
>>> of images that you aren't interested in?
>>
>> Perhaps in my haste to render an example, I mistook a rhetorical
>> question for a real one. (And just so it's clear, I don't mean
>> that in a snarky way.)
>>
>> Cheers,
>> Dave
>>
>> On Jan 28, 2007, at 8:50 AM, Jared M. Spool wrote:
>>
>>>
>>> On Jan 27, 2007, at 10:34 PM, Dave Chiu wrote:
>>>
>>>> The implicit assumption is, of course, that you're interested
>>>> primarily in the *content* of the image. =) Put it this way, if I'm
>>>> looking for an image of the Nintendo Wii to use in a presentation,
>>>> yeah, I'm interested in pictures of the Wii, but I also need to
>>>> know
>>>> that it's a *usable* image.
>>>
>>> Apparently, you also have an implicit assumption that users
>>> looking for images for presentations is an important audience
>>> group to Google. Do you know that to be the case?
>>>
>>>
>>>> Yes, I agree that the presentation of the images looks cleaner.
>>>> However, I'd also argue that it wasn't really a problem having the
>>>> text there because it's easy to distinguish between images and
>>>> text.
>>>
>>> Really? How many user observations are you basing that argument on?
>>>
>>> Dave, with all due respect, you're making a ton of assumptions
>>> about an application used by millions based on your own
>>> individual needs. How do you know Google didn't consider your
>>> needs, yet felt sacrificing your convenience was the only way to
>>> achieve the best design for the users they were actually
>>> targeting? Have you never been in a situation where you had to
>>> mildly inconvenience some users to improve things for others you
>>> needed to help more?
>>>
>>> All the points you raise are true, if you assume you are Google's
>>> target audience. Where did that assumption come from?
>>>
>>> Jared

29 Jan 2007 - 2:58pm
.pauric
2006

"Obviously an initial default would have to exist (presumably this
would be the new version) - but they already have provided the
ability to select some preferences..."

They do but maybe not in a traditional sense, users can search the internet
using the Google to find help on where to change these settings. E.g. <
http://www.google.com/search?q=getting+the+old+google+image+search+back>

web = platform
content = features
search = interface
results = menu

29 Jan 2007 - 6:31pm
cfmdesigns
2004

>From: Andrew Maben <andrew at andrewmaben.com>
>
>The question no one seems to have asked yet is: so how come Google
>didn't allow users to make the choice for themselves?

Each added preference increases the complexity of the application, magnifies the testing effort, and becomes simply one more thing for the users to deal with and one more thing to go wrong.

One possibility here is that by making the change complete rather than leaving the either/or option available, Google gets better user feedback. With the preference as an option, you get people reverting to the old style for many reasons -- familiarity, trying things out and not changing back, genuine issues with the new behavior, etc. -- and no means of sorting out which reasons are in play. (They could probably track how many users which setting, but little beyond that.) When you provide that preference, it says (a) we're hedging our bets and (b) we don't want your input.

Any feedback they get now will be genuine feedback, probably falling into three camps -- I like the new stuff, I hate the new stuff, and why didn't you give me a pref for this. They can then look at the "hate" set and see what use cases people present (of if they merely hate it because it's a change) and adapt as needed (which could even mean that pref coming along later).

I'm projecting a bit, of course, but perhaps better for them to forge boldly ahead than to waffle in place. This is Google, after all; they aren't know for being wishy-washy on these things.

-- Jim

31 Jan 2007 - 6:46am
Andrei Sedelnikov
2004

> The implicit assumption is, of course, that you're interested
> primarily in the *content* of the image. =)

The content cannot be separated from quality. It doesn't matter what
are you looking for images for, either to use them somewhere or simply
enjoy - the bigger the picture is the better the image is. So i think
basically the new Image Search Ddesign is a step back for all user
audiences.

--
Andrei Sedelnikov
http://usabilist.de/

31 Jan 2007 - 8:47am
.pauric
2006

Andrei Sedelnikov "the bigger the picture is the better the image
is"

I disagree with this generalization on two levels;

1) Searching for an image of a person. Image A is a head shot of
100px square, Image B is a group shot of 6 people in 400px by 150px.

The smaller image is better

2) There is an assumption that image searching is searching for
images. I use image searching as a method for finding content. For
example, lets say I've spotted an unusual bird or flower, I can use
image search to first identify the species and then drill in to
content on that species.

Given Google's recent attempt to have people identify the content of
images. I would hazard a guess this simplification of the image
results could be a design change to achieve the same goal.

Two people search for 'diamond necklace' and click on the same
image, Google logs that. Simplifying the search results could be an
attempt to expand the usage of Google images.

1 Feb 2007 - 8:18am
Jared M. Spool
2003

On Jan 31, 2007, at 6:46 AM, Andrei Sedelnikov wrote:

>> The implicit assumption is, of course, that you're interested
>> primarily in the *content* of the image. =)
>
> The content cannot be separated from quality. It doesn't matter what
> are you looking for images for, either to use them somewhere or simply
> enjoy - the bigger the picture is the better the image is. So i think
> basically the new Image Search Ddesign is a step back for all user
> audiences.

That is your opinion.

What is your opinion based on? User data? Or your gut feel?

Jared

Jared M. Spool
User Interface Engineering
510 Turnpike St., Suite 102, North Andover, MA 01845
e: jspool at uie.com p: +1 978 327 5561
http://uie.com Blog: http://uie.com/brainsparks

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