The new Bing will roll out with IE9. Bing has some interesting enhancements, they are clearly rolling-up their sleeves in their goal of cutting into Google’s search market share. Some of the new enhancements include:
- HTML-5 Powered
- Instant Search
- Smarter Quick Tabs
- Interactive Homepage
- Expanding Links
Bing has already changed things up a bit by adding background images to their homepage. They are taking this idea several steps further. If you have HTML-5 enabled, you can view full-motion video backgrounds as well as zoom in and out on static images. The video background loads quickly and doesn’t require any special plugins.
The new Bing reminds me of how you interact with smart phones, where screens slide smoothly and the transition is clean and automated as opposed to how pages change currently.
Google released their instant search last September, Bing’s really is no different in the “search previews as you type.” This update kind of gets lost with the other enhancements, but still helps improve their user experience.
There will be quick tabs near the top of your browser just below the search box. These will be relevant to your search, so in the demo video below, when you Bing “San Francisco” you’ll be presented with quick tabs such as weather, flights, news, maps, web etc. These tabs and the search bar will be fixed at the top of the screen, even when scrolling down on the results page. The related searches on the left stay as well. This makes sense keeping this information and functionality handy so you don’t have to scroll up or down on the page to access it again after scrolling. The transitions between tabs are smooth and slide left and right so you don’t really feel like you’re leaving the page you are on.
Now that netbooks and handheld devices are gaining in popularity, the screen size for many is smaller. To accommodate this, Bing will display only links at the bottom of the search results pages. Once you begin to scroll down, the descriptions/captions will expand (accordion out). This frees up an other wise limited screen real estate.
Most of these enhancements come from visitor behavior research. They’ve been paying attention to what people do and how they interact and took this information to better enhance the user experience. There is more coming, but so far it looks great!
Check out the new Bing/IE9 demo video below: