Fix the Search Interface First

Barry Diller wants Ask.com to grow market share. I’m sure there’s lots to be done on improving distribution deals, the crawler, back-end algorithms, etc., but how about starting with some simple, obvious UI fixes? Here are the results of a search for “Search Engine” on the 4 majors:

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At 1024×768, the UI differences are glaring. I’ve marked the ads in red and the information of dubious value in blue. The green checks indicate relevant, high-quality results.

To the average surfer, the info in white is all that matters. Note to everyone else except Google – fix the UI first – it’s the low-hanging fruit.

13 thoughts on “Fix the Search Interface First

  1. Nice observation, but some users may actually also decide on the quality of results. Having ignored anything apart from Google, I have found offlate that Yahoo Search actually yields more precise results. Yet a cleaner search UI page almost always lets me Google first.

  2. This is not really a fair/realistic comparision. Try a commercial query like digital camera, or even a search for "photo hosting" etc. You’ll see that google has ton of ads.

  3. Ravi,True, commercial queries are a mess everywhere. Also note that Ask and MSN have radically improved their UIs since this posting.

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