Staś Małolepszy

Search engines in Fennec — Guidelines update

This post was migrated from my old blog. Some links might not work.

After getting some feedback on my previous post about search engines in Fennec, I made slight modifications to the suggested guidelines. The main difference is the inclusion of a social search category. The social aspect is a powerful and appealing part of the mobile context (see Madhava’s Mobile User is Mobile presentation) and we are excited to experiment with this concept in the initial release by adding social search to the interface.

Here is the updated version of the search guidelines for Fennec:

5 standard search engines:

You should choose only 1 search engine in each of the following categories.

  • Global general search
    • ‘Regular’ global general search, much like in desktop Firefox.
  • Reference search
    • Almost all of the time, this will be Wikipedia.
  • E-commerce search
    • Both to shop on-line and to consult product information.
    • Store preferred over auctions.
  • Local search
    • I.e., “around me” search; e.g. “find the nearest ATM”.
    • Only if available in the region.
  • Social search
    • I.e., microblogging platforms/feeds, social networks (no invite-only sites).
    • Only if relevant in the region.

1 extra search engine:

You can choose to use it if no e-commerce/local/social search is available.

  • Specific interest search
    • Something specific to the region, reflecting the local way of using the Web.
    • Can be from different categories: e.g. reference (a dictionary or a word reference recommended), entertainment (imdb, youtube, music search), e-commerce (price comparison), general search provider very popular in the region, etc.

The maximum number of search engine plug-ins is 5. Each search engine should be chosen from a different category, as listed above. In rare and well justified cases, we might go for 6 plug-ins total—the sixth one would be then an engine from the additional specific interest category. You can add a specific interest search engine also if there is no e-commerce, local or social search that you would recommend for mobile Firefox for your locale. Or, you can choose to go with fewer plug-ins, which is totally fine, too.

For more context and rationale behind these choices, please take a look at my previous posts on Fennec’s productization.

Published on 14.09.2009

Staś Małolepszy

Thoughts about the Internet, the information society, Mozilla and human-computer interactions.

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