Google's New Permanent Search Sidebar Could Streamline Searches
Despite Google's clean and simple design, users can still feel overwhelmed and frustrated by the freewheeling way in which search results appear on the site. To combat this problem, Marissa Meyer, Google's vice president of search product and user experience, told Mashable that the search giant will soon begin testing a new permanent sidebar on its results page, but only for a small number of users.
We know it's not often that Google changes anything, but before we get too excited, the feature is similar to the "Show options" sidebar. The new version, however, allows you to narrow a search to specific categories, and is simply more attractive. Plus, the sidebar will be, conveniently enough, permanently displayed on the left side of the page.
Overall, people seem glad that Google is adding structure to its unpredictable results. The metaphor Meyer used when speaking with Search Engine Land sums it up nicely: "I've been calling this problem 'user interface jazz.' This result looks this way, and that result looks that way [something much different], and it really does slow you down," she said.
We couldn't agree more. It'll be nice to have a little control when wrestling with mountains of Google results. Just imagine, when planning a trip to Australia, the results won't be plagued with images from that movie with Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman. We might even -- gasp -- pay for a perk like that. [From: Mashable and Search Engine Land]