Google have just pushed out one of the hardest-to-justify updates to its image searching service.
As you should be able to see above, they have removed the text from underneath each image until you hover over that image. This makes it a lot less usable because you can no longer check which sites images are coming from en-mass.
Google, for some reason or other, is usually thought to put a lot of effort into its user interfaces but I really don’t see where that all comes from. Sure they have a fairly minimalistic looking homepage and sure that might have helped them when all the other search engines were bogging things down with as much information as they could push, but the images search is just plain nasty.
If you just take a look at the source for a Image Search page, what can we see?
- No DocType, no standards
- Inline CSS definitions
- More inline JS using on+event HTML attributes
- Inline CSS styles
to stop line breaking (instead of using CSS)
I mentioned in my article “The 5 Rules of WebDev” the importance of all these things. Google is just hacking its way through without regard for bandwidth (like they need to worry about themselves, there) or browser standards.
Google might be the best search engine, but they suck at making web pages.