Google Testing Collapsible OneBox Display

Google
Expand/ Collapse News Result
at Google Blogoscoped has screenshots of a new
Memeorandum-like ability to expand
news results that show up in a
OneBox display on
Google web search. An experiment in progress, it seems, because I can’t
reproduce the same.

It also feels like a step backwards. People already bypass stuff shown in
OneBox displays because it doesn’t seem like "regular" web results, despite the
fact that it might be more relevant that web results are for a particular query.
This seems like it might make them even less noticeable. But testing will tell
— perhaps people might zoom in on them more.

Postscript from Gary: I would love to see the feedback/UI test results one the collapsable OneBox results is testing. Look, if people have a hard time understanding what Google Print was and consider the massive amount of mainstream press attention it continues to receive and the fact that most people don’t click and the other links on the Google Home Page (just to check them out and see what they offer) I’m curious to know what percentage of users will click an icon that appears only in certain situation and at least from what Philipp’s screenshots show, without any explanation. I doubt that Google will release the results of this test. They would be interesting to review.

Sure, for the search geek, this type of stuff might be cool and useful but like I’ve said in the past, most people aren’t search geeks. Heck, I wonder if these collapsible boxes be noticed in the first placed. Trying to convince people to do what my friend Ran Hock says and “click everywhere” to learn what’s available from an engine is a challenge for many.

Of course, this might also point out what I’ve been saying for a long time (and now Zawodny and Battelle have also written on) that a bit of search “training” could go a long way in getting certain user groups to take full advantage of what’s available. However, for these groups a little training (minutes not hours) could go a long way.

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