Thoughts on Google Instant Search?

8 Sep 2010 - 9:22pm
4 years ago
5 replies
1335 reads
aronoff
2010

I'm REALLY curious to know your thoughts on Google Instant Search.

http://techcrunch.com/2010/09/08/google-instant-its-search-before-you-type/

I'm really stoked to see this. It's a very intuitive user experience. The fact that search refreshes as you type, to me, means that it's an active state of something that used to be the typical call and response. It will be interesting to see if this pattern starts to permeate into other areas of search, say, in your companies intranet site, or your file structure on your mac.

What I find fascinating about this whole thing is that this is not entirely new. Yet it took Google to kind of rework their own data and then market it to make people aware of it on a large scale. 

People who I wouldn't even think to comment about searching online have mentioned this to me. It's strange. Has Google taken something as ubiquitous as 'search' and made it sexy again?

 

Comments

9 Sep 2010 - 6:23am
.pauric
2006

While this type of active loop interaction is not new, seeing it on google should precipitate it's adoption in other UIs.  It's also important to see this as more than a 'neat search feature'.  I like to look at google as the 'ui for the internet' in the same way some users use spotlight to find & launch on OS X. Or, in a more gui orientated flavour of this active loop, Quicksilver: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzdCfDJBQcU  software that engages, learns & suggests.

I noticed google also rolled out Scribe, an autocompletion text editor last month: http://scribe.googlelabs.com/  terribly clunky but the same underlying interaction principle which engages the user actively as opposed to the traditional 'call & response' as you put it. Put this along side features like Gmail's 'Priority Inbox' and you start to see a bigger picture.

I see this type interaction as a trend, a factor of raw processing power on the machine side and information overload on the user side.  The more information someone like google is able to associate with a unique individual the better they are able to provide functionality that serves us the right information at the right time - addressing a fundamental design principle; removing the non-essential. Achieved, I might add, through pure functionality and not presentation layer design.

From a ux perspective I cannot wait for more UI of; engaging, active, predicting, reducing, suggesting.  More of a UI that knows what I want and works with me to find it / get it / launch it. 

I question what roll an IxD'er has in a design that off-loads so much work from the User... limited at best?

9 Sep 2010 - 9:06am
achong
2006

Is it me or does it seem to cause people to pause and deviate from their search. There are some very strange search suggestions that come up in the auto-suggest that cause me to pause and take my attention away from what my original search was. Thoughts?

Not that quickest path is best path but if you look at the google video that speaks to their instant search they talk about a reduction in time to search.

9 Sep 2010 - 9:52am
.pauric
2006

You are right that at one level it interrupts but, in my experience, it completely eliminates the larger flow of

text entry > click > review results > correct text entry > click

rince and repeat.  Effectively, the system is providing you feedback in the way a new Mercedes will tell you that you're getting too close the car in front, and allows you to correct your input to the car... as opposed to the old method of letting you hit the car in front and you then pause while you fix the car (o;

 

Dmitry: "Predictive/suggesting/anticipatory UX still needs informed design decisions around what is to be suggested, when, and how. Otherwise the Clippy syndrome will quickly set in. :)"

Absolutely! but, to me that is more on the research end of the UX spectrum and less in the presentation layer design which I feel is the current cash cow of IxD'ers.  I'm not saying we're going to be out of a job anytime soon, if at all.  But, well, this type of design solution is the reason Visual Designers leave Google if you know what I mean.

/pauric

 

15 Sep 2010 - 3:05pm
Batrasan
2010

This feature seems good for most consumers. It dows not work well for me because I have low vision and use a magnifier which restricts my field of view. This feature does not seem to have any adverse accessibility side effects (that I’m aware of).  It just in not effective for people who use screen magnification.

17 Sep 2010 - 9:05am
Scott McDaniel
2007

This does make me wonder how screen readers react to it.

Scott

On Fri, Sep 17, 2010 at 8:53 AM, Batrasan wrote: > This feature seems good for most consumers. > It dows not work well for me because I have low vision and use a magnifier > which restricts my field of view. > This feature does not seem to have any adverse accessibility side effects > (that I’m aware of).  It just in not effective for people who use screen > magnification. > > (((

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