Itâ€™s easy to think of search (ie searching on Google or Bing) as simply a (boring) research activity. And in turn, to think that all the innovation in search is about providing a â€˜betterâ€™ result. But what does â€˜betterâ€™ mean when it comes to search?
Joseph Pineâ€™s TED talk on what consumers want is a good insight into how the search game is changing (and hat tip to Michael Gray for the link and thought). Josephâ€™s talk is from 2004, but his point is relevant now. Itâ€™s essentially this: people want an experience. And they want an experience with authenticity.
Consider how the UX and designer communities have grown in the last few years and youâ€™ll have in an insight into how people want to interact with their programs/gadgets/sitesâ€¦ even their line of business (LOB) apps. They want a pleasurable experience. Something that they can relate to.
Why should search be any different? When searching, we want an experience. Itâ€™s why Bing added pretty pictures, flyouts and visual search, and why Google is pushing things like personalised search and social search (to name just a few examples â€“ the rate of innovation in the engines is huge). Itâ€™s more than just the results. Itâ€™s how we relate to the results that matters.