I saw this humorous piece (via VW) about what if Google had to had to design their UI for Google, changing their clean interface into a busy, link-covered, SEO-seeking eyesore. It reminded me how I haven’t visited google.com in forever, preferring the Firefox built-in Google search. I’ve always been an about:blank homepage sorta guy and it can’t be more spartan than this – it is just a box:
The killer feature is the Google Suggest automatic suggestions, both from my search history and what others have searched for. After using it for a while, it makes every other search box seem fatally limited. Combined with the Google search features like on-the-fly spell checking and “define:” word definitions and it is my command line for the web.
The surprising benefit is how often I repeat a search from before, although it appears that perhaps 40% of all searches are repeats. Rather than remembering a URL or other snippet, it is simpler to store breadcrumbs in my search history (despite some people’s privacy concerns). Ctrl-K plus Google’s Experimental search results that are keyboard navigable is great for making the internet feel as though it exists to answer your every question. Like the classic Steven Wright joke, “I have the world’s largest sea shell collection. Maybe you’ve seen it. I keep it scattered on beaches all over the world.”