So I’ve been playing around with Microsoft Bing today, just with the image search, and I actually really like it!
I’m as suprised as you, I really expected something boring, unintuitive and useless. I figured it wouldn’t be really any different to Google’s search, but with worse results. Au contraire!
Bing Image Search has poised itself into a more ‘application’ style of web site, with different display styles for the results “Zoom small”, “Zoom medium”, “Zoom large” and “Show image details” (great descriptions I know).
They’ve also irradicated the “next page >” link, using lovely smooth AJAX loading images to make the process of looking through hundreds of images, seamless. As you hover over the ‘vista-looking’ thumbnails of the results, there’s a smooth animation to show you information about the image (Dimensions, Size, Location).
On the left of the site, you get to filter down your search to receive more accurate results. The options available are;
- Black & White
- Just Faces
- Heads & Shoulders
So you do get a fairly large selection of personalization to put with your search.
One nice feature that I like is that when you click on an image to go see it and find the source of the image, it pops all of the previous set of images you were looking at, to the left hand side in a handy little bar so you can still access them without having to go back!
Like Google (and most other search engines), there is a “Safe Search” feature, allowing you to protect or unprotect from those NSFW images.
All in all, it’s a pretty effective, smooth looking (apart from several few css bugs in FF), and fast service with effective and targeted results. Well done Microsoft, I do believe you have a partial convert, I’ll from now on, consider using Bing.com to do my image searches.
With a brief look at the Video search, it’s a fairly similar look to the image search, but with it handily embedding the videos directly into the site, so as not to have to go to those awful video sites packed with ads and crap. As reported by several other sites recently, this lovely embedding feature mixed with the safe search feature means that you can turn Bing into a fully fledged porn site, without having to directly visit any other sites, handy?
I no doubt will investigate further.