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Powerlabs - the first screenshot



Well, we just sent out our first screen shots of one of our demo search products and we such a response, that I thought I would throw my hat in the mix as well.

After mulling about for a bit, I decided that I wanted to be the first to post a screen shot of Powerlabs (it's a pretty cool screenshot and in my opinion a much sexier screenshot than the search screen shot)

This screenshot is an example from our travel group, one of the categories of search we'll be exploring. We'll also be exploring other categories like entertainment and reference. Within each of these categories, we'll have lots of activities. You'll be able to watch videos explaining the Natural Language concepts that power Powerset, take surveys to help us understand what users want, brainstorm ideas on specific search problems (and vote on them too), enter design competitions where you can suggest search interface ideas and, of course:

get ready......get ready..... 

ACTUALLY try out our demo concepts

(note the intential use of s in concept(s))


Over the coming weeks, we'll release more details, but in true Powerset style that's all you get for now.

Hint:  Powerlabbers are getting this blog entry 1 hour before I post it (that will be the norm from now on, so sign up if you want the inside scoop)  I figured since there is such competition to be the first, I would actually give the Powerlabbers a shot at beating me to it.  Each time I will announce who was the actuall first person to post the screenshot.  Note: the first screenshot poster contests was won by Jessica Mah and she wins the right to have my voice on her answering machine.

Hint: We may not be launching Powerlabs officially until September, but we will be selecting a small group of people early to give it a test drive. 

Hint: We are going to be announcing some pretty interesting stuff over the next couple of weeks.  We have been holding back for quite a while and we are brimming with news (double hint: we acquired someone)

Warning: I am making my first video blog (which I will try to do weekly) so you will have to deal with my ugly mug directly.  in each video I am going to try to be dirt honest, give you the straight news and I will be announcing important new information. 



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Porn category ROCK!

I don't think that black background (and, correspondingly, the set of colors introduced by it) is a good idea. On one hand, you may want to deviate from white firmly associated with Google, - I understand. On the other hand, black/grey/green is a "high-tech" combination associated with underground activity. What looks alright from the inside may not be perceived as well by a general viewer.
Of course, none of that matters, if you can speak with the computer!

Re: colors
I agree with Michael.
On the other hand, I would expect users to be able to change Themes with one click :)

Steve, dont' forget that it's the total user experience that counts, not just the search results.

The screen looks awful, although I just posted a comment on TC that I like your idea of creating a social network about Powerset.

But I can't emphasize how awful the colors are.

Invest in some good UI designers. And don't listen to 20-something alpha geeks: They're not your target market. NLP is search for the masses; think like the masses, not like an alpha geek.


P.S.-The "Porn" category is a joke, right? If it isn't, you'll be DOA. But what worries me is that somebody might even be thinking about something crazy like this. Hey, why not add a category for racists and terrorists, too, while you're at it. Remember, SEARCH FOR THE MASSES. This is what you might have that Google doesn't.

P.P.S.-It's really SEARCH ... FOR EVERYONE!!


I clicked to comment specifically on the BG color - which, coming from my print design days back in the very early 90s, I learned just how unreadable it can be. Plenty of studies have been done to measure responsiveness and reaction time given variable such as background color, font type and foreground/text color.
Here's an old, relevant bit of research pertaining to this:

cited in the research "...When light text is placed on a dark background the text may seem to glow and become blurred; this is referred to as halation, and it may make the text harder to read. Some evidence for an effect of halation was found in the current experiment. The mean RT for light text on a dark background was x=17559.24, while the mean RT for dark text on a light background was x=16909.33. This finding might also be attributable to a subject experience factor due to the frequency of dark text on light backgrounds; more research is needed on this topic before any strong recommendations can be made."

Personally, light text on a black background is something that has always kept me from reading dpreview.com, despite the stellar content.

Looking forward to the beta invite!

Thanks for the mention! and Yay, I get to have your voice on my answering machine now!

Chat to you soon,



I'm being sincere when I say that "Porn" searches definitely *should not* be excluded from the Powerset index. Some (righteous?)naysayers may criticize that move, but blocking or hiding public information is rarely helpful or wise, in the big picture. It's also an entirely practical matter. It's no secret that *many* people use search to find porn. And it would probably be suicide for Powerset to not allow access, when someone can just move elsewhere(cough...Google...cough) to get what they want - if Powerset refuses to provide. And wide community interest will definitely be needed when Powerset first appears. I believe that "Porn" *should* be a real category, although I would recommend calling it something else such as "Adult Material" or "Mature Material" or "Adult Search", or something like that.

Sincerely, Jeff

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