Monday, September 20, 2004


I'm a bit behind the times, but I got excited about the A9 search engine today. When I first heard about it I didn't think it sounded like any great innovation, but I shouldn't have ignored it. Perhaps it's my interface-design geekery that gets stoked up, because it is probably the slickest web interface (non-Flash, anyway) I've ever seen. Easy, fast search, and then you get multiple views of your results...all with simple controls that don't require page reloads, even though there's tons of data represented.

If I was teaching a unit on evolution, I think these results would be a great place for students to start -- try viewing web, images and references at once. Not that it's such a huge leap up from Google's results, since you're one click away from seeing related images on Google (for example), but there's something compelling about seeing that sort of snapshot view of a concept. It seemed quite powerful as a way to research a career, giving you definitions, links to related resources, professional organizations, and you some context without having to click into anything. Better yet would be if the application would recognize that the query contained a job title and offered a panel for job postings (maybe even in my region) -- you've gotta think that Monster would be all over that.

Oh, and thanks to Marc Canter for the head's up.

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