New Google Image Search Makeover – The Usability & User Experience Issues
Posted July 22, 2010on:
The next renovation area for Google is Google Image Search. Google in its blog mentions about the new features that it has incorporated. As a user, let me analyse each and every feature/functionality listed with their pros and cons.
1. Dense Tiled Layout:
Google says: designed to make it easy to look at lots of images at once. We want to get the app out of the way so you can find what you’re really looking for
Actual Experience: Yes, of course you can see many images in a single glance – but as some images has a white background it makes users to mix up two images – couldn’t find the borders easily unless we hover.
Pros: Seeing many images in a single glance serves the purpose of any user.
Cons: As we are used to clear bordered well-organized image results, this output page looks cluttered.
2. Larger thumbnail previews
Google says: Larger thumbnail previews on the results page, designed for modern browsers and high-res screens.
Actual Experience: Yes, when I look high resolution images it is more appealing and impressive
No pros or cons as such.
3. A hover pane
Google says: A hover pane that appears when you mouse over a given thumbnail image, giving you a larger preview, more info about the image and other image-specific features such as “Similar images.”
As many webmasters weren’t concerned about image file names in the past, I can see images named 3347367209_0903f5a3be.jpg or as “400_F_13367266_3qpGXFwW0dBwDGgn0p4QStOEtccs9ru2.jpg” where only “400_F_13367266_3qpGXFwW” is shown (we miss to see the file type here) – which means if the image file names are longer, the hover pane will not be able to show you the file type. This could be a major usability issue, as looking at the file type gives a greater understanding.
One odd feature I observed and wondered with this was – after hovering over an image if I select the image file name, it keeps selected when I do consecutive image hovers and keeps continuing until I deselect. Give a try yourself 🙂 I don’t think this could be done for Usability – any thoughts??
It gives a compelling reason to name an image file SEO friendly. So webmasters in future will make sure the image file names are descriptive and not long.
And this hover pane highlights the image file name which will serve as token to impress users. And as SEO experts we all know whichever has the potential to attract visitors will have a SPAM world and now let’s Welcome a new SEO spam world – In future, you can see more and more keywords stuffed into the image file name.
4. A new landing page
Google says: Once you click on an image, you’re taken to a new landing page that displays a large image in context, with the website it’s hosted on visible right behind it. Click anywhere outside the image, and you’re right in the original page where you can learn more about the source and context.
Actual Experience: A large image context comparatively gives good user experience than what it used to be in older Image Search.
And above all if you are not happy with this new Image Search, Google has also given an option to “Switch to basic version” – but again that is just buried right down after several scrolls. It could be good if you can see them on the left menu or at the top (as how usually Google used to offer “switch back” option for any new feature introduced)
But the major improvement (Google claims it as improvement) is the Image Search Ads.
Google says: And for our advertisers, we’re launching a new ad format called Image Search Ads. These ads appear only on Google Images, and they let you include a thumbnail image alongside your lines of text.
Oh, yes here comes one more colorful world open for Ads.
“Google Image Search Optimization” or “Google Image Ads Experts” could be the buzz phrases soon.
Posted by: B