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MSN's Overall Appearance.Fonts, colors, etc

Could it benefit from an overhaul?

9:33 pm on Jul 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I am really liking the vast improvements in search quality, especially the dedication of the search team to make quick improvments.

I was noticing today, though, that the font choice and color scheme may lack a bit to be desired. I have always liked the general appearance of the Google and Yahoo search layout.

I am not suggesting that MSN mimick the other search engines, but could they attract and retain more users by making cosmetic changes? The current font seems quite large, for example.

There is a lot to be said for color schemes and font choices. As webmasters, we have all been faced with these choices to optimize the user's experience.

I open this thread in hopes that others may have some ideas that will help the MSN team tweak the appearance of their search pages so that we all benefit through improved visual quality and overall user satisfaction.

My suggestions:
1) Decrease font size, especially for descriptions. Establish a contrast in size between title and description.

2) Group the information about each site a bit more together (increasing the space between listings). A blockier format may help information "jump out" a bit better.

3) These are just a couple of ideas, and others may have some suggestions. I just think the current appearance is "not pretty" and makes things look cluttered.

4) Maybe a color scheme other than a drab green?


9:56 pm on July 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I imagine they will be making more changes when vista comes out.

Since search is the big money maker I would increase the size of the search box on the msn.com homepage.

I like how MSN has smaller fonts than Yahoo on the ads it gives it a less cluttered feel but the colors on MSN need to be darker. I think darker colors on msn search would give it more of a professional feel.


9:57 pm on July 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Also, I know that bold is a "good thing" in order to maximize CTR, but when I look at the serps pages, I see so much bold, and the text is enormous. I see the bold in the descriptions first, before I ever notice the links. It is hard to explain my initial reaction when I see this, but I think it is confusion. I scan down the page and see large font with so much bold, it makes it visually unappealing and cluttered. Maybe BOLD should be limited to the link/title and url?

Just another idea.

10:07 pm on July 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It is annoying to me (and my wife whom just mentioned it), that when you search at MSN you have to let the page completely load first otherwise you have to retype your query.