Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Transparent weather?

Yet more features from those clever people at Google, they've just added a weather: operator to their search box. However it's interesting that in preference to introducing a new "Google Weather" service, they've instead overloaded the search box functionality in a similar manner as they did when they introduced the movie: operator.

While integrating these features into their search page means a less cluttered interface for them, the downside to this strategy is that, to use the feature, you need to know it's there. Most people don't really know how to use a search engine, especially all the functionality hidden inside Google. I astonished someone the other day, who really should have known better, by using the Google calculator to do some unit conversion. The calculator has been around for a long time, and most casual users don't know about it. That's not an encouraging sign...