Dirk Knemeyer

OS Search interfaces

OS Search interfaces, May 15, 2003

A short comment contextualizing the prediction could go right here

The Google Toolbar is one of my favorite things. Unobtrusively integrated into the Microsoft Explorer web browser, this wonderful tool allows me to input any word or words, hit return, and immediately get thorough Google search results. While I do not experiment with enough search engines to declare Google the best, it is good enough that the idea of even trying another one does not interest me. Being someone who is always looking for the next best thing, my comfort level really says something about how well it works for me. Anyway, this one little application allows instant, accurate, relevant searching of the entire web, within which are at least…well…a gaggle of different web pages. Amazing.

Imagine – keywords

Consider this: right on the desktop is an open search field. Every program and file includes a set of common-sense keywords pre-installed – with the potential for participant customization. Every file – of every format – can have keywords entered when saving. Yes, files could still be saved in traditional digital folders for participants who prefer that method (folders could even auto-create and populate through the keywords themselves). However, rather than moving through a hierarchical system that is not well defined and becomes less intuitive as the complexity increases, we have immediate access to anything we want. It can even be customized to the naming convention that is most intuitive for each individual participant.

Think of the advantages! Even those nasty corrupt files that technical support people try to help us find deep in the bowels of our file hierarchies – as viruses or other antagonists are wreaking havoc on our experience – could be at our fingertips with only a single click upon startup. That is to say nothing of the way we craft our own unique experience. No need to memorize which partition of the hard drive to look in. Or which “folder -> sub-folder -> sub-folder” path to take. Or fumbling about a cluttered desktop where you keep everything to avoid trying to memorize where things are located. Type in a single (or multiple) word(s) and be a single click away from unmitigated access.