It’s all about the placement/elimination of the so-called “hidden” features. Through the interview process (and analyzation of searchme.com on our own time), we found that end-users have a difficult time locating all of the features, preferences, tools, ways to view the search results, etc. This will be our main focus; making searchme.com (in the visual and usage sense), more efficient and simplistic/understandable. In order to achieve the results desired, the sketches will explain the approach given, etc.
As the pen slowly touches paper…
Here I have taken on two parts of searchme.com that I feel to be somewhat clumsy.
Below you will find the first revamp – the main page. I did not find too terribly much wrong with the main page, other than the features being hidden.In order to eliminate this, I took the current theme, and tweaked it a bit. The preference, tools, and the-like are now found below the textbox. The textbox will remain hidden, until one of the options are selected (such as preferences). These will be saved to a cookie file, or something to that effect. I have also altered the organization of the search bar, as well as adding a button that allows the user to “click” to initiate the search (if they get confused about having to hit enter, since this /may/ not be entirely intuitive to all).
Search Results (Bonus! Rationale included! See inside for details)
I have revamped the web search results entirely. After discussing inlayed iframes with the group, I feel that this is the best approach for searchme.com in regards to displaying results. To the left, there will be a similar textual output, as per Google’s technique. If an individual hovers over a hyperlink of one of the results, a quick rendition (with varying options in terms of how much of the page will be loaded- discussed later) will be displayed to the right within the iframe. Therefore, the imagery of the results will always be live to the millisecond. No more worries about the stock results being 2hrs delayed. What makes this more efficient is that one may still search, while having their hovered result (or results) displayed to the right. In terms of speed, the user will clearly be given choices as per internet connection speed in regards to how much the search engine should load, result wise to the iframe. If the connection is “slow”, images will not be displayed – text only. As the speed of the connection increases, the amount displayed increases as well. As for another example of efficiency, there will be an option for displaying multiple web results loaded in individual, small, iframes within the iframe, depending on the amount the user chooses. This will appear similar to the layout of the browser, Opera’s main page.
More Rationale? You know it! Redundancy? Probably!
By virtue of the supplied organization techniques found above, the user will be happy not to continue opening new tabs or windows in order to avoid leaving his/her search results, and will not have to squint at the slowly loading/laggy/inaccurate results of each page.