Last September, I wrote “The rise of the awesome search bars” highlighting some recent innovations on search bars (either on browsers – like Firefox3 and Firefox Ubiquity ; or directly on web sites like Tripeedo). Those innovations provide easier access to data and services, including shopping services. In this part2, I’m presenting two other examples of (released or prototyped) enhanced search bars.
Internet Explorer 8 has been released two weeks ago. Microsoft has not tried to blend the address bar and the search bar like Firefox3 and Google Chrome have done; however, MS allowed third-party websites to provide richer search results directly in the browser. See the screenshot below for a search on Amazon (similar visual search results are provided by eBay and PriceMinister for the shopping domain).
Following the Ubiquity experiment, the Firefox team is thinking “how [they] might integrate an interface like Ubiquity into Firefox and bring the power of a language based user interface to a mainstream audience.”. This project is named TaskFox; early studies / mock-ups are available here. The goal of TaskFox is more ambitious than simply bringing visual search results in the search bar; however, visual search is part of it as the following early mock-up shows.