You may have heard of last Monday's Cuil launch. Cuil, apparently pronounced 'cool', is a new search engine of Google-like scope except that, unlike 'Do no evil' Google, it really does respect the privacy of users.
It is the creation of former Google whizzkid, Anna Paterson, from whom four years ago Google acquired Recall, the basis of its current search engine. Early reviews of Cuil have been, as you might expect, a mixed bag from 'just something very intuitive about the interface. And it’s fast!', to 'Its founders may have failed to appreciate simplicity, speed, performance, and search relevance to the extent Google has.' The latter comment by Thomas Claburn in the Information Week blog notes that 'The front page is oppressively dark -- I understand that it's a 'cool' color scheme, but it's psychologically stifling.' Hmmm. Something here maybe for the cool grey brigade. But actually my viewing of the site suggests that they have already responded and changed it to a minimalist white background.
More relevant to all those slide shows on architectural websites is this: 'Google talks a lot about the user experience, but it hasn't yet recognized that user control is the defining user experience.'