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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Ms Dewey: Search Mistress Gives Searching a New Twist

Posted by @ 8:03 pm
8
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The Ms Dewey Search EngineEver felt that searching is far too impersonal for you? Well, a new search engine called Ms Dewey has recently launched that offers a whole new interactive experience. Instead of seeing a whole screen of search results black on white, search results only take up half a page on Ms Dewey. The rest of the site’s real estate is taken up by Ms Dewey herself – an avatar that talks to you as you search and even hassles you if you have periods of inactivity.

The visual look of Ms Dewey (built in Flash) is pretty impressive, with an ultra-modern cityscape as a backdrop. The most striking feature is Ms Dewey herself – she is embodied by the beautiful actress and musician Janina Gavankar.

However, in terms of functionality, Ms Dewey is a letdown: The video loops are quite choppy at times and get repetitive quickly, and most importantly, the search results take quite a while to load and are pretty difficult to scroll through.

Search is powered by Microsoft Live Search, and while Microsoft’s involvement in this site isn’t promoted anywhere on www.msdewey.com, this is what Microsoft had to say to David M. Ewalt, a forbes.com blogger who blogged about the site: “Who says search can’t be fun? At Windows Live we are constantly exploring new and creative ways to promote our search offering and deliver relevant information in an interesting and engaging way. The Ms. Dewey website is just one example of these efforts. This is not an advertising campaign. This really just an experiment for exploring different ways to introduce people to search and Live Search specifically. We are not promoting the site but simply putting it out on the Web for discovery.”

I had assumed that any attempt to give search a more human face had died when ask.com sent Jeeves into retirement. I’m not convinced that Ms Dewey will fare much better. Granted, she does have more sex appeal than Jeeves, but will that really matter more than fast, convenient and relevant search results?

What I do like about Ms Dewey though, is that to me, she appears to give us a little taste of where media convergence may be heading. Doesn’t the search interface remind you of a television news studio with an anchorwoman behind her desk? That’s quite a departure as far as search interfaces are concerned. She also shows that information search doesn’t necessarily have to be dry, but can be quite entertaining. If you are curious, check her out at www.msdewey.com and let us know what you think!









Discussion (8 - comments)

Ms.Dewey is, in my opinion,completely annoying.
When I am working and searching for information, I am not, as a professional woman,interested in sex appeal.
We,as women in business here in Mexico,have enough problems with trying to get our point across on a professional level without having sexual comments in search engines.
Your model is placed in a super city background and in a high level business office setting.
Is there some reason you could not leave the BIMBO attitude out.
Or was this program created by very bored MEN.

By Anonymous - October 24, 2006



I agree with the last comment – totally annoying! And the search results, which were difficult to read on the background, weren’t even very good!

By Anonymous - October 24, 2006



It’s entertaining but I think unless the following is done it will fail:

1. Enlarge the text area and show up and down arrow.
2. Widen the info text area by a third and move Ms. Dewey to the left a little.
3. After you’ve found and clicked on new screen of your site, tell Ms. Dewey to be a little less vocal.
4. Is there going to be PPC and or are you going to partner up with Yahoo Search Marketing or Google Adword? My suggestion partner with Yahoo
5. This is nice and refreshing but you have to also make it practical usage as a good web site needs navagation ease to be successful.

I really like it but the part of making it practical and useful are key, keep the entrainment side but apply the 2 factors above.

Most important: Use any color but black, that is a step backwords.

Ed Burns, Sr.
Dir. Sls. IT Marketing
ICGLP.COM

By Ed Burns Sr - October 24, 2006



I really like msdewey.com!

What a great idea! It did a great job finding the info. for which I was searching.

Jean Fairclough

By Jean Fairclough - October 24, 2006



ask.com will survive over this

By Anonymous - October 31, 2006



As for all the comments about usability: You enter a query to see Ms. Dewey’s reaction. Nobody’s going there for real search results! :-)

By Anonymous - October 31, 2006



Wow people – it’s a marketing campaign, not an honest attempt at being your everyday search engine.

By Anonymous - October 31, 2006



its is a bit laggy, but if you look past the not so great search result navigation and focus on the important part i to have a suggestion… what are the chances we could choose a different model and setting… you know, user specific search buddy. he he

By Anonymous - October 31, 2006




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