October 18, 2006

Search Engine UI of the future?

I hope not. Ms. Dewey , a Flash-based new search engine, is graphically very pretty (but very slow to load on all my systems), although the pouty, sexy librarian behind the desk isn't exactly what I was looking for. (The random opening scenes are amusing, though; so far my fave is the one with the big knife, although the motorcycle is a close second.) Ms. Dewey can get a bit obnoxious if left idle for a bit, yelling "Hello, is anyone there?" and tapping on the glass, but that's part of the shtick of the site, I guess, as are the quips she delivers when the search results are ready. (Sometimes they even relate to the search term.)

I'm not sure how effective a search engine it is - of the search terms I input, it took *quite* a long time (and a lot of eye-rolling and pouting) to get any results, and for a couple of my search terms it didn't return any results that were even close! The results scroll in a shaded window to the right, which doesn't stand out very much against the futuristic city background, making the results list a bit harder to read, and there are no obvious scroll bars for the search results.

All in all I'd say it's a well-presented UI without a lot behind the scenes. Personally, I could do with a lot less pouting, posturing and half-lidded come-on glances, but hey, that's just me. (On the other hand, if they deliver a version with a studly male librarian, maybe I'll change my mind...)

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