Given that discovering the graphical UI (specifically, MacPaint) was a life-changing event for me, it’s a little funny that I find myself so interested in search as a UI tool. But as we’ve said many times now, categorization goes only so far. Once you get beyond a certain number of things (pictures, emails, menu items, etc.), you need some form of type-to-find.
Photoshop UI designer Andrew Lin points out the site for design firm S-W-H, which features a slick, easy-to-use search function (including auto-complete). Coupled with the blazing fast transition animations*, it gives you a sense of flying through a large body of work. Bonus: Typing “foo” (and lots of other things) treats you to the sounds of people excitedly going off in Dutch.
For a counterpoint, check out the frankly terrible interface for HBO’s John From Cincinnati site (too bad, as I’m digging the new show’s tripped-out profane-cowboy-meets-longboard lingo). The site loads by promising a carousel of content, but it then immediately hides said content, making you guess about search terms (kind of hard if you’re new to the show, eh?).
Tangentially related bits:
- Inquisitor beautifully integrates predictive searching into Safari. Trust me, you want this (just like PicLens… and Saft).
- Apropos of time lapses (see recent), Andrew made quite a number during his tenure with a certain fruit company. Hypnotic, but burning cars & tail lights make me remember why I traded commutes on 280 for a 10-minute bike ride.
* With animation effects in general I’m reminded of a quote from Alan Cooper: “No matter how beautiful, no matter how cool your interface, it would be better if there were less of it.” A little goes a very long way.
PS–If you know of other cool, powerful search UIs (Flash or otherwise), please share ’em.