Microsoft Windows Device Group
Sr. Software/Patent Engineer
Software Engineer, UI Designer, Manager
Innovation & Design
Most current search homepages, like http://bing and http://google, are all text based. There is a text box for user to enter a search query string. In addition,it contains some menus and sub-menus on the interface, and they take time to find. Moreover, it is not the best fit on a mobile device with a touchscreen.And it is not fun. It was originally designed for a PC with a mouse click, and not for a mobile device with a touchscreen. Visual graphic search homepage,which we present here, brings up a new search interface to display the query suggestions graphically. It primarily focuses on the customer experience,especially on a mobile device with a touchscreen. By using the graphic search homepage, the user will gain a streamlined search experience with a better performance.
People seldom search on a mobile phone because the current search homepages on a mobile phone are not user friendly.
Most of search homepages, like http://bing, http://google, and http://baidu, are all text based on both of a PC and a mobile device. The user goes to a textual box, enter a query string as a keyword(s), and start searching. It takes some effort for user to navigate around to compare the search results. By Intuition, this is not the best choice of search interface on a mobile device with a touchscreen, as a person needs to move finger around a textual box. In any case, it is not the most pleasant and efficient way for a user to search on a mobile device with a touchscreen. Eventually, the user may give up using today’s search homepage on a mobile device with a touchscreen.
In order to draw the user back to the search homepage on a mobile device with a touchscreen, a precise influence to user’s emotion becomes essential. We present here a search interface with a visual graphic design to try to tackle on the problem, as graphic communication quickly affects us both cognitively and emotionally. In addition, emotions play an essential role in decision-making.
In addition, per scientific study, human brain deciphers image elements simultaneously, while textual language is decoded in a linear, sequential manner taking more time to process. When it comes to quick, clear communication for customers, visual trumps text almost every time.
Actually, the vast majority of what we communicated was not text based. One instance is that textbooks have progressed from a majority of text to a majority of graphics.
In the design presented in this paper, a visual graphic user interface displays multiple sets of query suggestions. The user is able to preview and even compare the search results before one decides to dig into the search result detail. Besides the query suggestions starting with the search keyword(s), the reversed query suggestions can be retrieved and presented to the user as well. The visual graphic design provides a user-friendly interface, which is easily selected by a finger on a touchscreen.
1. Collaborate across different teams. Three of our team members are from three different Microsoft teams.
2. Think out of box, especially during a design. Some scientific research and even art work are helpful (we need people with these talent.)..
3. Complete the works by milestones and do not rush to it. We completed the UI design first. Then, we tried to integrate with the Bing search API. Next, we implemented a mobile device solution besides a PC solution. Finally, we filed a patent application and went through successfully.
Basically, we just used our spare time and weekends to complete the project. We feel that a very good idea and design is the key to succeed. During development and implementation, we have an open mind to grow the team from outside. We seek the person who has a real passion and is an expert in the field. Finally, we work on it persistently till its success. In addition, we patented our idea (a UI related), which has enhanced the return of our investment.
For a software product, it starts with a good idea and invention. We should hire a good design person with an innovation mindset. During development, we should be agile and flexible to take resources outside who has expertise in the field. We should set a milestone and complete it one by one to ensure the quality. Finally, we should maximize our work by considering to apply for an IP patent on the innovated idea & design if it has a technical novelty effect.