Category: developers journal

Ask.com – fail in design

Author: Daemon August 18, 2010

For the fun of it, I just went to see how are other search engines doing. Yes kids, there are other websites that do search, other than Google.

Lycos: it is horrible.
Altavista: oh please, put this site out of its misery.

But look at this - www.ask.com. Now look at it carefully.

Ask.com failure

The search box is pointing at the noun Ask making me believe that you should click it in order to ask the site your question! After all, the whole idea behind Ask is that you should construct your query in form of a question. Combined with the fact that the main search button is identical in color with the rest of the site so it melts right it, it further enhances the feeling that the red Ask logo is the main action button.

But of course, it is not.

All the design elements point in one direction, the site wants you to go the opposite way.

I have no sympathy for the "other" search engines. Seeing ridiculous fails that they are I am really glad Google killed them all.

Author
Daemon

    4 thoughts on “Ask.com – fail in design”

  • To me, the fail is elsewhere: the submit button.

    The way I see it, and the way I’d do it is:
    – ‘ask’ acts as a verb, not a noun in this case
    – the pointer style element serves as a “chat bubble” hint
    – eliminate the ‘search’ button entirely, and just start searching (without page reload of course) upon detecting a 50-100ms pause in the input field

    That’d make it much more fluid and intuitive (to some at least).

  • “ask” is a verb. that said, i’d agree w/ the rest of the article.

  • I think it is bad taste to put down other websites or call them ‘fail’ on a professional blog. While some of your points may be true, it would be better to present your argument in a positive way, such as 10 ways to create proper continuation or call to action (using ask.com as an example of what not to do). The way you wrote it, you are just complaining about it and come off really arrogant. Disappointing.

  • Deamon has many nicknames, but positive is not one on them. :) To me personally – 10 ways to [insert random thing here]… is fail concept of blog posts but list type of blog posts like that do drive more traffic. Here is a free SEO lesson for you Daemon. :)

    On other note – our blog’s legal disclaimer (http://www.nivas.hr/blog/legal-disclaimer/) clearly states that: “Nivas ltd. does not take any responsibility with regards to any possible inaccuracy of any information contained on this blog if such data do not relate to the registered operations of Nivas ltd. The opinions expressed on this blog do not necessarily reflect the official positions of Nivas ltd. “.

    We would gladly take job if Ask.com asks us and we would be very positive about it.

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