For Google, 2009 has been the year of UI testing. There have been more tests on Google’s Search Engine Results Page this year than any other that I can recall.
And it appears the testing is paying off. Many of the changes which were tested this year look to be securing permanent positions and will be appearing in early 2010.
The overhaul of Google’s Search Engine Results Page is aimed at tackling the issue of “User Interface Jazz” that Marissa Mayer raised with Danny Sullivan from Search Engine Land.
It seems that all the UI testing that Google has been conducting has been creating some discontent in the Google ranks, with Marissa describing it like “Jazz”. As she puts it:
I don’t like jazz, because you never know what’s going to happen next…I’ve been calling this problem ‘user interface jazz.’ This result looks this way, and that result looks that way [something much different], and it really does slow you down.
So Google will probably look to consolidate some of 2009’s testing with permanent changes to roll out in 2010. And Search Options appears to be one of the most noticeable changes. Courtesy of Search Engine Land, here’s some screenshots of the new interface being tested.
The Search Options area on the left hand side now has additional filters (or “modes” as Google call them), making it a one stop navigation point for Google’s results, including video, blogs, local etc.
Search Options will be permanently displayed, unlike the current incarnation, where users have to click to display the options.
If you want an in depth review of the new interface – I recommend reading over Danny’s post at Search Engine Land.
We’d love to hear what you think about the new interface:
- do you think it improves usability?
- how do you think it will impact website owners?
- will you be doing anything to leverage the improved access to other modes e.g. video, local?