An alternate idea for a different way to initiate a search via DuckDuckGo

eohippus eohippus
Created: 3 years and 10 months ago • Updated: 3 years and 10 months ago
Most search engines follow the tried-and-true way to start a search. The user is presented with a long open search field followed by a "magnifying glass" symbol or other symbol or the words "search". To initiate a search, the user types the search query as text in the search box and then clicks on the search box to start the search.
If one is using bangs (!), one can then embed this in the text and then click search or press the <return> key.

Why not give users the option of a separate entry way into DDG that has different search boxes. One box says or shows the magnifying glass for "search", but other icons show "image search", another is for video search, another for audio search, etc. Which ones show up could be both generic and if one logs into an ddg account, their preferences for searching would show us.

Thus, of one wanted to do an image search, one enters the search term in the dialog box and press an icon that says in effect "image search" instead of just a regular "search". If one wanted to search for just videos, one could press "video search" or an icon showing a TV or film strip or something that would graphically represent video or movies, etc.

But perhaps this is just too much? I know that bangs are supposed to do all these things, but most newbies don't know about bangs and many appear to not use them.

Of course, maybe in the future, DDG could start its own image crawler instead of relying on Bing or Google image searches.

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We're working on some things that will probably make this moot in the coming weeks. Please stay tuned---we're looking forward to any updated feedback you've got :)
posted by zac Staff3 years and 10 months ago Link
Well, I've gotten use to the new DDG and so I don't miss too much of the old one. But, I still wish DDG would do more of its own thing. Nevertheless, DDG is my "go to" search engine. I still use Bing once or twice a week (I love the flight information, travel stuff, and local movie times) and I haven't used a full-fledged Google search in 5 years.

Maybe DDG could partner with theaters and cinemas to have an option "movie times" or "film" etc. to show local movie times. This would be a big undertaking, I guess.
posted by eohippus 3 years and 2 months ago Link
Nearly everything is possible w/ instant answers. They're built by the community, so they have the advantage of subject-matter expertise, and they're open source, so they can always adapt/change.

Currently, you can do something like:
posted by zac Staff3 years and 2 months ago Link
Bing for flights? Try a flight number with DDG: (QZ8501; the flight that disappeared near Indonesia a couple days ago).

I think it would be awesome if DDG could work on some new and inventive way of searching. Perhaps displaying instant answers in a graphical grid with the most relevant largest, allowing a user to click on one and see it expand, getting the information required. DDG can be better in way more than Bangs, IAs and privacy.
posted by MyUser 3 years and 2 months ago Link
Well that features is new to me. I will have to look into this DDHack.
BTW, I am an ex-programmer, so I have fallen out of skill on programming er coding, but I could relearn, I suppose.

But, I agree that the tried and true method of presenting search engine results as a list of (blue) links is old (e.g. AltaVista, Yahoo, Google, Bing, Anoox, Surfwax, etc.). Well there were different presentations (e.g. Mooter, now defunct).
posted by eohippus 3 years and 2 months ago Link
it's an interesting thread. differentiating search U/I at the "point of search" is an interesting concept.
posted by torontojeff 3 years and 2 months ago Link
This comment has been removed for violation of our forum rules.
posted by <hidden> • 3 years and 2 months ago