Oct 27

Brady Forrest

Brady Forrest

Googling with Coverflow


Peter Meyers, Managing Editor of our Missing Manuals line sent out this fun idea for using cover flow to browse search results.

Here's my LazyWeb info-design idea, inspired by Leopard's use of Cover Flow in the Finder: wouldn't it be cool to see Google search results displayed Cover Flow-style in the Safari web browser. That is, each result would get its own CF page and you'd see the actual page itself, not just the text summary blurb (extra credit: have the page appear with the search terms highlighted).

tags: web 2.0  | comments: 19   | Sphere It

Previous  |  Next

0 TrackBacks

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Comments: 19

  Juan [10.27.07 09:53 PM]

It would be cool if once you found the page you were looking for you could click on it and navigate it just like a typical web page.

But what if there was a Time Machine-like feature where you could view your browsing history in the same way Time Machine works. Easily find a site you visited yesterday, a week, a month ago, all in a visual manner. Then, have it switch to coverflow to show all the pages you visited on that site.

  nepbabu [10.27.07 10:17 PM]

The point of using a search engine is to be able to search for information quickly.The whole point would be a moot if there was cover flow.But I know this crazy idea is just for fun, a toy idea everyone has. :)

  Nat [10.27.07 10:54 PM]

Cover Flow is more like flipping through your records compared to scrolling through lines of text. Imagine a dj with a file of all white records with only a small text on the front of each.

The web is very unflippable, at this point. I can flip through a book with a 100 pages in a 60 seconds, read the index, chapter headings, subchapters, how many images are reprinted, color or b&w, how it is footnoted, etc. In comparison the time it would take to flip through 100 web pages is excruciatingly slow.

This is why the image and text searches alone are unsatisfactory. I could imagine not just flipping through search results-- the(reduced) image of the page would give clues to the type of information it contains-- but also flipping through some subset of the page, images only, image and text, comments, pages it links to etc.

Is it some regressive instinct in me that wants to flip through Cover Flow version of a web site's site map?

If load time is an issue than try an enable/disable button.

  Nat [10.27.07 11:11 PM]

The searchmash only gives you a front page. Let us rotate the results images (10 at a time or what-have-you) and then let us flip through, say, all the shots of the web site that have our search result or just all the highest ranking pages from the site, not just the result page.

And while your at it, can you differentiate within an image result photographs from diagrams, from text graphics from animated graphics... I'd like to do a diagram search, personally.

And if speed is an issue, being able to flip through site shots would, in the end, save me a lot of time.

  Randy [10.28.07 07:29 AM]

Leopard is the best OS i know.. Now Vista can go home

  Buddy [10.28.07 07:31 AM]

Right! And the Performance is unbelievable!

  Sam [10.28.07 08:31 AM]

I kind of have this now with my iPhone. Not quite coverflow, but I get to use my finger tips to scroll through multi-web pages, which is even better....

  Paul M. Watson [10.28.07 10:17 AM]

I agree with Juan. This would be more useful for your browser History. Nice idea Juan.

  Anonymous [10.28.07 10:47 AM]

If it's any consolation (I say this anonymously for a reason ;-), I'm working on just such a browser for Leopard that's even a bit more ambitious than this.

  Anonymous [10.28.07 08:49 PM]

When can we officially call CoverFlow played out?

  Steven Bedrick [10.29.07 04:06 PM]

Actually, I bet that it wouldn't be *that* hard to hook this up using MacFUSE- just write a FUSE "filesystem" that is built on Google, and then implement a filetype whose QuickLook preview is a WebKit rendering of the page itself.

Maybe the user would start a "new search" by making a new "folder" whose name was the query text, and then the filesystem would run the search and fill in that folder's contents with the results.

Of course, my inner user interface critic is still trying to decide whether he thinks Cover Flow is a clever and useful innovation, or whether it's a very pretty waste of CPU cycles. :-)

  Anon [10.30.07 07:03 AM]

Juan, check out Browseback, which does what you are describing quite nicely.

  Jens Roland [10.31.07 02:18 AM]

How can Peter Meyers not know this? The SpaceTime browser is currently in beta, but it created quite a buzz over the past few months.

It does precisely - I mean PRECISELY - what he describes.

  martijn aslander [11.11.07 01:49 PM]

Now that's a cool idea!

Cover flow already helped me flying to a legacy of thousands of old long forgotten but still valuable files en documents.

An important part of intelligence is the recognition of patterns, and the visual aspect of that is exectly what coverflow is providing for me.

  Marc Dnalf [03.11.08 12:39 AM]

iam using leopard,too deleted vista after 2 days :P

  Steve [04.25.08 03:07 PM]

Take a look at This site is a search engine that uses a CoverFlow-like interface.

  games [06.17.08 11:11 AM]

Great Point ... Thank you for this Article

  Marc [03.06.09 05:59 PM]

took a while but it's finally here in safari 4.

Post A Comment:

 (please be patient, comments may take awhile to post)

Type the characters you see in the picture above.