Ask.com, one of the four major search engines on the web, rolled out a redesign and rebranding of its product a couple hours ago. The relaunch, known as ‘Ask3D,’ is a step-up from its previous ‘AskX.’ In perspective, this is a response to Google’s recently launched Universal Search, though Ask has been testing the redesign for quite some months now.
So, What’s New?
Unlike its name might suggest, there isn’t a whole lot new except for restructuring of its layout and, of course, a tight redesign. The homepage now features tabs with ‘Web,’ ‘Images,’ ‘City,’ ‘News,’ and ‘Blogs.’ Also offered are 11 different skins to choose from. For the daily Ask user, I’d recommend the default one or something like AskX, Western Sky and (for the ladies) Pink. Of course, this is not all that is new — doing a search reveals a rethought layout which, in my opinion, is a bit superior to Google’s recent one eyecandy wise, though it has some annoying features which makes me go back to Google.
Also new is a preview feature for search results. A binocular is offered beside selected sites which show a preview, page size, and an estimated load time. I also noticed that the options and preferences are now AJAX-based offering a great heads-up view, and overall the design is fairly fancy and recent in the technologies it applies.
For Ask, I think it has been a slow race in the search space. It’s like the slow-and-steady turtle which seems to be crawling no matter what happens, lagging behind the others, though you could expect it to catch up at any time and it’s a never-ending game. Overall, I think Ask3D is a decent upgrade, and kind of what you’d expect from a player like Ask.