If you haven’t seen this new search engine (or platform) then I’ll be happy to be the first to clue you in: You’re missing something very cool.
Via Godbit >> SonSpring >> Viewzi Corp >> I found the beta invite submission form and thought I’d give it a go. I’ll admit that I wasn’t very sure of what I was signing up for (or if I’d even get a key) but within 24 hours I had a note in my inbox telling me that I was a lucky winner. 30 seconds later after a very simple signup process I was greeted by the search box.
I recently bought an iPhone, so I decided to throw that in there and see what happened. I hit “enter” and then Viewzi began to work it’s magic. Showing a number of different options, or “views” perhaps, I could dive into each bucket from a particular vantage. For example, if i wanted only pictures of iPhones, I could go there, or videos (which was cool because some of them played a small portion of the video as a preview), or your typical google-search-esque page view, or shopping, or weather (which didn’t really apply to iPhone) or celebrity pictures (which was neat), and a number of other views (See full gallery below).
Bottom line was that it was fun. Which is good, because that was a part of what they wanted it to be, besides being “richer” and “bolder”. What really drew me in, and kept me there for a bit, was that it was so darn pretty to look at! The design, information architecture, colors schematic, layout of all the views were very attractive. Besides being very easy and functional, it was eye-candy to boot! What an amazing plus considering what my #1 search-engine looks like (always, never changes, *yawn*)…
Everything wasn’t completely green on the other side though as a few things were apparently broken, like the browser plugin and how the picture area had both large and small versions show up at the same time. It’s still in Beta so it didn’t upset me and I’m sure those will be ironed out as testing continues. Also, the weather view for iPhone didn’t necessarily fit what I was looking for… but changing the search to “Austin, TX” did. It would be cool if they could filter it even further where if anything but locations would grey out the weather view, etc.
Some other interesting things to note were the music view (which if it found a broken link, it would drop it off the playlist… very cool), the profile with customization (for certain “kinds” of searches and views…? not sure about this function… maybe it wasn’t done completely), shopping and amazon (very cool aesthetic experiences with zoom in/zoom out) and easy filtering systems through tags or killing particular sources from which data was being pulled (ie filter out any results from flickr in picture view).
Overall, a very cool system and platform, one which I would highly consider moving to as the functionality and personalization/customization matures. Google-killer? Probably not. But that’s not what it appears that they’re looking to do (maybe, who knows…?), but it could certainly “steal” some users as it grows in popularity. I’m definitely a strong potential “switcher” if it stays the course of excellence… and I hope it does.
Some other reviews can be found here at Mashable and Marketing Pilgrim.