Take a look at the new AskX which recently launched as a polished up Ask.com that’s been infused with new features. They call it their “double-secret sandbox” for testing Ask experiences of the future. This new look includes a three-panel interface. The three panels are broken down into the left, middle, and right, with each panel holding a variety of time-saving features.
One of the very first things that I noticed after completing a search was the “fading-in” of the page. Some might say that this slows down the loading of the page, when all you want is instant results. I however think it’s nice to know when a new search has been completed; it makes the new results really stand out.
In the left panel they have options to narrow, expand, or view related names to your search. These search suggestions update as you type them. The middle section of course is for your search results. They have sponsored links clearly labeled up at the top, and the rest of the results “front and center” so that they’re easy read. The right side has most of the “bells and whistles” like an image search with the option to click “more,” to view more related images. There’s also a handy dictionary. My search was “computer” and so it pulled up the definition of computer as part of the search. They also include a news category with related news, and a shopping category with related shopping items. The last item in the right column is a section called “Posts” which has a list of blog and feed articles pertaining to your search. Again, you can click “more” to get a more complete list. What a great way for Ask to enter the Blogosphere!
If you visit AskX, your browser will remember this, and the next time you visit Ask, you’ll just be taken to the new AskX. There’s an “exit AskX” link that will take you back to the original Ask.com. Even with the 3 columns, the design seems clean and easy to navigate. Right now, the new site is supportive of just about every browser with the exception of Opera (unfortunately). Overall, I think it looks a lot better than searchmash (Google’s test site) which we wrote about back in October. Go take a peak at AskX and let us know what you think!
News Source: Google Blogoscoped