Not everything that shines is Google

The difference between internet and shopping is that you cannot walk in and just gaze at things. Before you can do that, you are obliged to to search for what it is you want to gaze at. Internet used to be mostly text-oriented and so is every search. But there is more than just words out there.

Daily Slurp offers website search by color. When would you search a website by color? When you are a visual designer and want some inspiration. You can search by a combination of a main and an accent color. What is strange, however, is that the search itself is not offered by choosing a color on a pallet, but by choosing the name of the color in a drop-down menu, like ‘red’. Sooooo boring. Not only every visual designer knows that there are millions of colors of red, but scientific research has shown that every human being sees the colors slightly differently.

Daily Slurp

The discovery of Daily Slurp prompted me to see, if there are more ways to search than just by keywords. Retrievr offers an image search by sketch. However, my drawing of a red tulip gave me everything BUT a red tulip, so I suppose the engine can be improved.

search-by-sketch.png

FindSounds offers extensive help when searching for a sound.

There is a number of question/answer based search engines. An especially lively example is Ms. Dewey.

Besides, there is a number of search engines, which make an effort not as much as to offer an alternative search method, but to present the results in a more meaningful way. And when you try one of those, you find yourself thinking that Google results page is really nothing more than the stuff thrown in your face with the message ‘You figure it out’. For instance, Hakia presents the results in thematic chapters. If you type in ‘tango’, it will deliver you History, Founders and Innovators, Musicians, Venus and so on, including some illustrations. This is what I would call the encyclopedic search. However, if you type ‘interaction design’, it just gives you the plain old list of results. I wonder why.

Kartoo offers a relationship-based results page.

Kartoo

And then there is personalized thematic search such as this demonstration. Aetna Healthline proposes a search concerning your specific medical symptoms, including pushing the information to the user to give him/her a complete picture of the condition and its consequences.

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