Yahoo Mindset Blogger and User Reviews

I have explained the basics of how Yahoo Mindset works; how it sorts results when you use the super cool slider it offers; and some thoughts on the limitations of the slider.

In this post I will discuss some reviews done by Bloggers and Users of Yahoo Mindset.

Thoughts about Mindset from Yahoo’s User Forum

Yahoo Mindset has a user forum. The three most useful feedback points I notice on the Forum are:

  1. Making the Slider more meaningful — some users feel that some more descriptive points on the slider scale which has two extremes stating “Shopping” and “Researching” could be worthwhile
  2. Having the Slider right from Start — I agree with this one. I feel the slider is the coolest part of Mindset and a frequent user of Mindset search would prefer to fix the slider before pressing “Enter” to start a search.
  3. Having Multidimensional sliders — I am uncertain about this one, though I appreciate the need of having multiple dimensions instead of just shopping and researching. I guess having multiple dimensions could be an “Advanced” Option that won’t confuse newer users.

Thoughts on Mindset from Two Bloggers

Greg Linden had reviewed Yahoo Mindset last year (in May 05, soon after the beta was launched) and here are some of his thoughts:

It’s pretty similar to but more limited than Google Labs Personalized Search, which allows searchers to check boxes for their high level subject interests and then gives you a slider to reorder search results….I’m surprised to see this focus on sliders. They aren’t particularly useful. They fail the grandma test. Most novice users will not use or understand the slider; they just want the top result to be useful. It’s not even that useful to power users since sliders fail to provide the level of granularity they need. More knobs, more buttons, more complexity. With less than 1% of users even bothering with the existing advanced search options on search engines, are more controls really what people need? Most searchers just want the right thing to happen. They want it to just work.

I feel that Google’s Personalized Search is available to a user only after logging in while you don’t need to login to use Yahoo Mindset. Also, I will bitch about Google’s “personalization” until privacy issues are worked out to my satisfaction. For now, I am staying out of Google’s Personalized search.

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About Greg’s Grandma test — Overall, the slide approach of providing me the control to sort results quickly is extremely valuable and doesn’t seem like rocket science or overly geeky to use and learn. Also, as I have mentioned:

  • I would agree that the slider nomenclature could confuse some bit. But, this is a nit pick for me.
  • Keeping the multi-dimensional slider an “advanced” option
  • I am fine if my Grandma doesn’t use Yahoo Mindset and uses a simpler search engine. I think that there would be more users who will pass the Grandma test than perhaps Greg fears. Also, after using the knobs on today’s electronic devices I guess Grandma’s are also smarter 🙂

Rebecca Hedreen had posted some useful thoughts about Mindset on her blog Frequently Answered Questions last year in June 05 that are worth reading.

I am now waiting to see when Yahoo Mindset moves out of Beta and when Yahoo Mindset team brings the product out of hiding. I think its an incredibly useful way to search; still unknown to a large majority of web search users.

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