Monday, June 11, 2007

Ask’s Unified Search Engine: A Three Pane Approach’s AskX has a three pane approach. I searched for something simple like “Zebra” and had a three pane result. Unlike Google, which has one search box and multiple results displayed in the result page, AskX which also has a box search displays its results in three different panes.

The right hand pane has the search box along with options to narrow or expand your search term.

The centre pane has your results. The sponsored had a place as well. In fact they are displayed on the top and bottom, just in case you miss it.

The left hand pane has something other than just websites. These include, images, information from Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, etc.

For images, one can also click the left hand pane option, just above the search box. This displays your images in the centre pane.

This is efficient vertical search approach. Users are educated by showing them how else they could search with the narrow and expand options.

Google has been around for a while but I still find myself showing users to use the images option if they want just pictures. Google also has vertical search options available through Google Co-op. Unlike with Google, the user doesn’t have to create an engine with a list of websites to do a vertical search. AskX automatically narrows or expands the search for the user with its three panes.

The three pane approach is simpler and efficient as the user can see all the options at once. The interface looks good and uncluttered despite so much information on the screen.

I haven’t played with My Stuff yet. Registration is required. Maybe that’ll be my next blog.

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