MSN Search, without the carpal tunnel syndrome

As their blog  has so far failed to point out, it looks like MSN Search pushed a new release live today.  Unfortunately, I can’t find any mention anywhere on the internet about what’s new. 

I very much like the new colour scheme, though.  It’s light.  It’s fresh.  The old blue box made me feel constrained, but the impact goes deeper than that.

When I worked on Encarta, there was a MSN-wide effort to move to the white theme.  One of the major factors was perception: people feel that sites with minimalistic palettes load faster.  Even if the only change is to the background colour in a stylesheet.

When I implemented this change for Encarta, that was the majority of the work.  Here, try for yourself:

[Before]: http://web.archive.org/web/20050331084437/encarta.msn.com/
[After]: http://encarta.msn.com/

Oh, and Robert?  Rounded corners are so 2003 🙂

Anyways, that’s a digression.

The topic often comes up at work (and online) about how much effort it takes to type search.msn.com.  It’s true – no matter which keyboard layout you use, it just feels awkward.

So, here is my contribution to the solution:

http://ouhn.net (for all Dvorak lovers out there – represent!) and
http://sfjl.net (for all of you mainstream types.)

All on the home row, and much quicker to type than Google.

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