“Introducing Search Direct A Simpler Way to Find Answers Fast” ~ Yahoo!

The search engine, Yahoo!, has beta released their new search feature – Search Direct.

Search Direct is their latest offering for providing quicker search results, with richer visuals and users having to use less keystrokes.

Take a look at Yahoo!’s introductory video about Search Direct:

It is a similar offering to what Google already provides, but this type of search is by no means unique. Yahoo has in the past provided a similar service before, which was unique and advanced at the time but failed as it wasn’t overly promoted and was complicated for users to use.

What perhaps is a little unique is that the new interface is giving more direct/confirmed results in the right pane. This type of ‘instant’ search is something most search engines would like to achieve; removing themselves from serving the traditional results page.

Screenshot of Yahoo's Search Direct

Opinion

Yahoo! Have appeared to put quite a bit of soul into this type of search, it looks good, it is fast and reactive.

But relevancy is a bit awkward. The suggestions that are displayed are good, however the results pane gives too much real estate for the first suggestion that comes up. For instance, typing in ‘news’ presents foxnews.com only. Users should be presented with more variance in that right pane for such a big term.

There are also a few discrepancies in usability, for instance, on a PC if you type in a search term using the Up and Down arrow keys on your keyboard you can select the suggestions, but selecting the related answers in the right pane has to be done via a mouse click. Although this wouldn’t be a problem for most users, it would be for those who do not like to toggle between the mouse and keyboard when their fingers are already in position.

Ultimately, as long as Yahoo has its default homepage set to look like a portal it will never be perceived as a dedicated search engine such as Google or Bing.