Enhanced Thumbnails for Web Search

Those crazy kids at Xerox PARC are at it again with this neat thing they call Enhanced Thumbnails. The web search demo is particularly interesting.

This demo is a re-creation of the user tests conducted by the research staff, comparing Enhanced Thumbnails to more traditional methods of displaying search results. Study participants were given a set of information-finding tasks to be done using a search engine. Their search results were displayed using text, plain thumbnails, and Enhanced Thumbnails.

And the results?

The study showed that people using Enhanced Thumbnails found the answers to their queries 29% faster than when they used text summaries, and 22% faster than when they used plain thumbnails.

See examples for yourself. (Search 1, Search 2, Search 3)

They also have a stand-alone browser called Popout Prisim (free 90-day trial download available) that integrates this functionality into normal browsing.

Now, all we need is for this to be tied in to the Google Toolbar and we'll be all set...