Search Visualization – at least I am not the only one

There is a post About visualization tools over at Tech IT Easy. It is nice to see that I am not the only one who would like to see a better way to work with search results. Why is it that over the last 10-15 years, almost everything on the Web has become more and more visual, but search has stayed largely the same?

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"3D" browsing and searching

Came across a post today called Exploring the 3D Search, about an application called SpaceTime (www.spacetime.com). It is a browser and search front end, which presents the results in a 3D “stack”, and allows you to scroll through them in that way.

While I like the initiative of trying a new visual approach, as I have discussed previously, this is really just another way of presenting a list. It is a start, but still not what I am looking for in a really new, “next generation” search visualization.

It is definitely worth checking out, though.

Search Result Visualization

It is amazing to me that there has been so little change in the look and feel of web search results over the last 15 years. Yes, the actual search behind the presentment has improved somewhat. I can now do searches and not have the first to pages dominated by porn sites. But we still get our results back in pretty much the same manner – first 10 hits listed as text, hit next, 10 more hits, hit next, and so on. Is this really the best we can come up with?

How about something more visual, to enable/support some level of “exploratory search”? How about an historical context, that not only looks at what you just searched for, but takes into account other things you have searched for recently – almost like a “search session”? How about keywords to always identify when you are searching – like a retained context.

These are just a few thoughts – I have a bunch more, but I would really like to hear other people’s thoughts on this.