In another attempt to claw back market share (have they thought about updating their algorithm to deliver decent search results for a change? I digress…) Yahoo! is trialing a new feature to make research easier.
Their new service (currently dubbed Search Pad) is best described as a automated bookmarking tool. Their vision for its usage is that if someone performs a search, and then further refines the search, Search Pad will realise that it’s a research project, and start taking notes from each of the sites visited.
An example of this would be if you started searching for “hip hop”, then further refined to “southern style hip hop” and then refined to “southern crunk hip hop with lean”, Search Pad would start taking notes, so you would be able to come back and find the information on previous sites you had visited, even if you didn’t bookmark them. This has potential because if you visit a site, and are unaware of its value, you can always find the information later as you become more experienced in your research.
Tom Chi , Yahoo!’s senior director of product management says Search Pad was developed from:
…spending a lot of time studying volunteer users in their homes and offices. [Yahoo!] was able to catch specific stuff about user habits and search behavior it normally wouldn’t have caught in a lab.
Yahoo has posted a demo video of Search Pad working in the wild.
Although interesting in theory, the question remains whether users will change the way they search, or whether they will be frustrated by the pop up box.
For more information, check out this link