As Americans turn their attention toward tablet devices for research purposes, brands will alter their strategies to reach these internet users. While Brafton recently reported that mobile users and PC users don’t act much differently when navigating the web, Blekko, a U.S. based search engine, unveiled its tablet-friendly hub Izik to provide tablet owners with a better search experience.
The new design focuses on organizing a wide array of media into SERPs, which forces marketers to develop content marketing strategies that include diverse media offerings.
Izik was built with iPad and Android users in mind, harnessing Blekko’s algorithms and the company’s human curating capabilities to deliver an aesthetically pleasing interface. According to the U.S. search engine, the vision behind creating Izik was to evolve the tablet search experience to become more touch-friendly. By removing the traditional “10 blue links” from SERPs and replacing them with an image-rich layout, results become more transparent and attractive resources.
From the moment a tablet user launches the Izik application, it suggests recent trending search topics in visual boxes that scroll with a swipe gesture. The simple user experience also suggests topics as internet users type within the query box. Search results are broken down into categories – like Top Results – and related subjects appear in outlined sections similar to Blekko’s slashtag option. Additionally, Blekko’s Dynamic Inference Graph answers queries quickly in separate boxes.
Search has often been a concept built around queried content, and Izik supports this notion, but also makes the process intuitive for tablet users. Gestures like swiping vertically scrolls through pages and identifies categories related to searched topics. Swiping horizontally shows results within related categories, and tapping category headlines expands results similarly to how Twitter designed its Tweets.
“Because of the limitations on typing on a tablet, combined with the search-and-explore mentality of tablet searchers, tablet queries tend to be short and the paradigm of 10 blue links as search results doesn’t make sense on these devices,” CEO of Blekko Rich Skrenta said. “With Izik, we can use our state of the art technology to dynamically create context for any query in the results themselves, and use a tablet-friendly design to surface them in a fun and easily digestible manner.”
Blekko reimagined search to make SERPs about the overall experience, showcasing its preference for visual content. Marketers may not consider Blekko’s interface when creating content marketing strategies – and they shouldn’t yet – but the underlying themes can provide their creative teams with inspiration. If search becomes an intuitive function, one that brings in visual media and enhanced interactive features, the types of branded content being produced must reflect how users engage with information found on the web.