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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : June 05, 2007 goes 3D

First there was, then simply, and now there’s Ask 3D as the search engine reinvents itself once again.

by Helen Leggatt

ask%20logo.jpgAsk 3D is a radical, and effective, new search interface. The results screen is split in to three vertical strips, hence the moniker 3D. The strips contain additional search options and search results from various relevant sources including blogs, images, news feeds, Wikipedia entries and more.

Searchers can click on music suggestions and listen to them without leaving the search results page, and videos burst in to life as the mouse is held over them.

The enhancements are’s response to the growing diversity in media channels and a need to include them in search results. A handy feature is the ability to view a snapshot of the resulting web pages by clicking on a "binoculars" icon next to the link.

"The interface for search, or the standard results page you get, has been the same for 10 years," said Daniel Read,’s vice president of product and user experience. "Google set the standard with 10 blue links. Don't get me wrong, that has been the killer (application), but people are eager for more content and specificity in search results.”

Whether the changes will see rise in the search engine rankings remains to be seen. Barry Parr of JupiterResearch didn’t think so, but thought that “a lot of people are going to find that this is a good user experience for them and that it is something they enjoy using”.

Tags:, new media, search engine

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