When I surf the Internet, I search using Google or Ask’s images tab. I have found that by looking at the “raw materials” that make up a site, I can get a better sense of the site’s quality. The other thing that is brought to light by this is the fact that I don’t like to read on the Internet unless I have come to a destination deep in the site. I talk about progressive disclosure quite a bit with clients and explain to them that the home page really should just be a set of funnels to get them to where they need to go. It should have as little text as possible and should be focused on imagery and iconography. The deeper they go into the site the more dense the information can be.
I remember talking to Eddie Briedenbach, a talented designer I had the good fortune to work with about how I wish we could just communicate in symbols and forgo the risks that semantics holds and the need to construct multiple perspectives when talking about one thing. It then occurred to me that it already exists. It is the Asian languages such as Japanese, Korean, etc.
Anyway, when I’m looking for something I use imagery to guide my surfing. I will also say that I don’t do this when shopping . . . and that I don’t shop much. As search results become more diversified into multiple mediums, it will be interesting to see how many companies take content more seriously. ( I touched on this in a post about the corporate social graph and its impact on search.)
The next time you’re searching for something give it a try and see what you think. As for the video below. I’m sure that this man’s eyes were W-I-D-E open.