Useful Interface Enhancements

July 31, 2008 is one of the search companies tapping Yahoo’s search index. The has introduced some useful interface changes. I will be digging into this system in future write ups, but I want to call your attention to one of the innovations I found useful. (my first write up is here.)

Navigate to here. Enter your query. You will see a result screen that looks like my query for “fractal frameworks”.


The three major changes shown in this screenshot are:

  1. Entities appear in the tinted area above the graphic. My test queries suggested to me that was identifying the most important entities in the result set.
  2. A top ranked link with selected images. Each image is a hot link. I could tell quickly that the top ranked document included the type of technical diagram that I typically want to review.
  3. A selected list of other entities and concepts.

The bottom half of the first page of results contains other hits. You should explore the interface. I want to zoom to the feature that I find particularly useful.

In the original interface I wrote about several weeks ago, the hyperbolic map often presented too much information for the tiny display screens I often use. The new approach displays the hyperbolic map for the top ranked entities. Here’s the display I saw when I clicked on “Enterprise Java Beans”.


Keep in mind that I am showing only a portion of the display. I can tell at a glance what or who the key players are in the Java bean set. I find this type of visualization well suited to how I prowl for information.

As with any search engine, some queries will return useful results and some that are not germane to the query. Instead of forcing me to scan laundry lists, makes it easy for me to get oriented quickly and spot entities which I will research more thoroughly in subsequent queries.

Interfaces like’s and’s are more sophisticated in my opinion than those available from Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo, in my opinion.

If you haven’t visited before, you should check out the service. Yahoo’s search index is more useful to me with the functions than those created by Yahoo’s wizards. Agree? Disagree? Let me know.

Stephen Arnold, July 31, 2008

Stephen Arnold, July 31, 2008


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