Late summer 2013 must be the season of the redesign after Yahoo unveiled its new look followed by Google’s bandwagon flat logo. Up next is Google’s very own competitor, Bing, which has apparently ditched its bulbous, circular look for a clean font that’s more in tune with the current Microsoft aesthetic.
The redesign doesn’t just come with a new logo – Bing has gotten a layout refresh to support responsive UI for users accessing the search engine via PC, tablet, or smartphone. While the image-focused landing page is still there, one of the more significant new features is Page Zero, Bing’s effort to make results more instant. For example, if you were in the middle of typing “Charles Dickens,” Bing will pull up an informational card on the side of the search results to give you some insight of who the subject is, along with some suggestions on related search topics. It’s similar to Google’s autofill function except Bing plans to provide related links, images, and other information related to the search query that represent real-time changes as well. This is to target those looking up current event news, flight status, local weather, friend check-ins, and more. Personalized Facebook and Twitter information are still there to recommend you on search results, as Bing has always promised that integrated social aspect.
“Bing is no longer just a search engine on a web page,” Scott Erickson, Senior Director of Brand and Creative for Bing, writes in the announcement blog. He calls the service “a brand that combines search technology across products you use every day to help empower you with insights.”
The cleaner look is definitely a step up for Bing, and better mobile usage may just be what Microsoft needs to challenge Google on its mobile-focused Google Now. Bing’s got partnerships with services across the Web including LinkedIn and Klout, but will it use those connections to find some love with smartphone manufacturers to have an engine built into a mobile UI? We’ll just have to wait to find out.