There’s some buzz brewing about Yahoo SearchMonkey. The idea’s that users can select custom search plug-ins to improve the search experience. It’s a misguided approach. Yahoo needs to improve the search experience for its users; most people aren’t going to work that hard. You can find the gallery of search plug-ins here. Yahoo recently blogged about it too.
Even for the handful of users who make it this far, they still may be disappointed. There are way too many steps needed to make it work. I tried several times to install the plug-ins only to realize I didn’t click “save” at one step or another. I may not be the brightest guy in the world, but I am someone who is pretty familiar with this Internet thing and who really wanted to try out SearchMonkey. I wasn’t running a usability study, and I had no intention of writing this critical blog post until the third time that the Monkey pwned me.
I originally was going to create a step by step right on the blog, and then a fortuitous accident happened: TypePad totally screwed up my layout. They made it so hard to format it that I figured I’d turn my screenshots into a presentation, hosted on Slideshare. The good news for you: this is a much easier way to browse it. You can click to view it in full-screen mode, but even smaller you can get the gist of it.