Tag: User Interface

Google and the bottom search box

When Google rolled out “Instant“, they also removed the bottom search box. Bad idea.

Google Instant is a nice, web 2.0 improvement to Google “classic” where results appear as soon as you type them in the ad hoc text box. Google claims that Instant can save 2 to 5 seconds per search. Maybe.

But, at the same time, they removed the bottom search box. I extensively used this search box: when you enter your search criteria and look at the results, you may want to refine your search, add some terms, remove or exclude others, etc. With a second search box at the bottom, you can directly do it after having browsed the first bunch of results. Without this box at the bottom, you can’t: you have to think to scroll all the way to the top of the page and actually do the change in the only, upper text box. You lose 2 seconds to scroll back to the top of the page and you may lose some idea on the way (especially if you have 1001 ideas at the same time). When you sometimes perform a lot of searches per day, the time you gain with Instant per search is largely lost by the time spent browsing back to the top. I’m not the only one to think it’s was a bad idea.

But if you want to keep Google as (one of your) your search engine(s) and want to get back the second search/text box at the bottom (and optionally get Instant too), just use “Encrypted Google SSL Beta” (URL in clear: https://encrypted.google.com/).

Redesigned Pubmed

I often wrote about Pubmed here. Briefly, it’s a search engine for publications in the biomedical domain. They recently redesigned their user interface and, although there are a lot of new things to save time that came with the new design, there is still a problem with their interface: the new search box takes too much space …

Redesigned Pubmed homepage
Redesigned Pubmed homepage (bigger image)

Redesigned Pubmed result page
Redesigned Pubmed result page: search box is hiding the logo, the display settings and the first result (bigger image)

To be fair, I must say these screenshots were taken with Firefox 3.5.3 on Fedora Linux but I didn’t see this problem with other operating systems nor other browser (not even Firefox on MS-Windows). Seems they tested their design with everything except Linux 😦 (A search with Pubmed redesigned doesn’t work with text-only browsers although the previous one perfectly worked)