Google’s Real Time Search Integration – Defies it’s own UX Principles

Google implemented Real Time search a few weeks back and owing to the integration, Google search looks uglier and cluttered. Maybe that’s the bing effect. Or the threat from Twitter, i.e. social search which is forcing Goog to clutter it’s page with real time updates as well as rich media search.

Google has a well defined UX (i.e. User Experience) principle and here are two items that needs special mention (for this article context, important points are highlighted)

Google’s UX Principle

Google is known for it’s UI – simple yet powerful and everything under the hood.

Simplicity is powerful.

Google doesn’t set out to create feature-rich products; our best designs include only the features that people need to accomplish their goals. Ideally, even products that require large feature sets and complex visual designs appear to be simple as well as powerful.

Delight the eye without distracting the mind.

Visually appealing images, color, and fonts are balanced against the needs for speed, scannable text, and easy navigation. Still, “simple elegance” is not the best fit for every product. – [source]

Google 2.0 – Cluttered and Lost?

Call it the Bing effect, Google is trying to bring in all sorts of media to search results without giving thought to user intent.

Take a look at this search result page for keyword ‘Ruchika’ (the Ruchika Girhotra case).

Google Twitter Implementation on Real Time Search
Google Real Time Search

The clean/cluttered policy goes for a ride when you stay in the srp for a few minutes.

The real time integration keeps adding to the clutter, and is probably one of the worst implementation strategy (you need to see it believe this) – a scrolling box has been embedded ‘somewhere’ in the middle of the page which is already loaded with news bytes, visuals and videos that are too distracting for the visitor.

The user intent is to find out the answer for the query, and the technology implementation shouldn’t even surface on the UI. Infact, in the effort to optimize results for other properties, organic queries are lost between the clutter and even cease to have any significant meaning.

Distracting. Ugly and a typical non-Google like implementation. Maybe a case of feature creep and a desperation to include-all and service-all-possible-user-intents.

What’s your take? Is Google search losing its mojo?

Interesting Debate here : Google launches the new homepage with Fade-in Experience [UX Dilemma]

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