I’ll say it. I am liking Bing, Microsoft’s new search platform. I mean, I haven’t liked it enough yet to make it my default browser or anything (let’s not get CRAZY), but for my extracurricular searching needs, it quite often does the trick.
However, I do have a suggestion that I think will increase the interface’s ease of use for people who don’t spend more than 3 seconds evaluating all of the features of the search page before using it (i.e. EVERYBODY). Let me illustrate.
The Bing homepage. Immediately, I go for the stark-white search box. Rolling hills of green? That’s nice. Give me SEARCH.
But, alas, I have entire missed the vertical searching options to the left under the title “EXPLORE”. First off, Bing is touting itself as “decision engine” – if I’ve come here to make a decision, calling me to EXPLORE sounds time consuming – time I don’t have when I need to make a decision. Microsoft: change “EXPLORE” to “DECIDE” or “CHOOSE” or, for heaven’s sake, “SEARCH”.
Turns out, I need to make a decision about some Marc Jacobs sunglasses. (For the sake of this post, we’ll say I’m actually planning on purchasing them and not just dreaming about purchasing them.) Enter search: “marc jacobs sunglasses”. Results:
Now, not until I scroll to the bottom of this SERP do I see actual shopping listings:
Now THAT is what I want. And I want it at the TOP of the SERP, Microsoft. Had I not been the savvy search marketer that I am, I may not have been curious enough to explore the results down below the fold to discover what I really wanted – the “Shop for Marc Jacobs Sunglasses” link. Once I get there – the results are EXACTLY what I was looking for. So, Microsoft – just make this stuff more obvious. If the user is obviously searching with commercial intent, show them commerically targeted results. Make your vertical search options more prominent. Put me that much closer to buying something – or, in reality, that much closer to dreaming about buying something.