Thursday, April 24, 2008

5 Visual Search Tools + 1

The Web has been text oriented for so long, that many may not realize that it can be searched visually. Google's efficiency in search is due in large part to the fact its menu is simple, and almost exclusively text-based. Can searches that rely on eye-candy compete? You be the judge.

1] Search Me: A graphical search that emulates the Apple scrolling image interface, complete with reflections. Are the results more relevant? This site makes the claim.

2] Boolify: A graphical representation of the boolean search. This could be a good tool for teaching simple search skills.

3] Viewzi: Although I'm not crazy about their expanatory video that borrows it's format from CommonCraft, this viewable search allows you to select a page style based on the content you're after.

4] Kartoo: Using this search engine is an interactive experience. Hovering on search results leads you to refine your search by highlighting relationships among results with links and keywords.

5] ManagedQ: Screenshot previews allow the visually oriented to quickly locate relevant search results from a menu of pages.

The extra visual search tool I'd like to share, is Quintura, uses interactive 'keyword clouds' to help users narrow their search. As a bonus, this search tool can be embedded on your site. Try it out by hovering on a keyword below...