User interface

Its easy to think up something and keep stroking the thought to conclusion which looks aesthetically proper to you. Its entirely different game to actually convince someone else of your argument. But public speaking is like a barometer what you think and believe. These thoughts relate to the fact that I gave a talk at OSIW about search engines.

The talk was controversially called ‘Who is scared of google?’, with a sincere believe that search engines are going to evolve and stop where they are right now. Also that one could come up with specialized search engines using FOSS tools. The presentation available here


Verdict is in. People want ‘normal’ looking search engine. A search engine invokes a mental map which is getting re-enforced in our mind. Even separating out certain search results in a box entails a risk of users overlooking those links assuming it to be ads.

In his article Jacob Neilson warns against trying to change the search user interface. This argues that search engines should not try to distinguish themselves with fancy front ends.
Article available here