I’m going to state the obvious here: Designers are visual beings. Imagery lights up sections of our brains, stimulating within us rapid ideas, sticky memories, colorful responses, and (hopefully) perfect solutions. I know that anytime I try to explain something without accompanying it with a sketch or miming it with my hands, it’s a communication challenge. The illustration inclinations I inherited from my father (a skilled woodworker), who thinks best with ink and paper. The demonstrative dependencies I inherited from my mother (a talented photographer), who appears to be conjuring some sort of spell during most conversations. So for all of us image needy, I ’m sharing a website that’s sure to satisfy our graphiholic tendencies…
It’s a visual search engine cleverly called SearchMe. Google is to left-brainers as SearchMe is to right-brainers. Instead of being bombarded by rows of text, visitors are treated to a rich search party. Here’s the paint by numbers:
1. Like a typical search engine, type in what you’re looking for into the search field. Let’s pick “chintz”.
2. All of a sudden, several descriptive, delightful icons appear: interior design, collectibles, crafts, etc. Narrow things down by clicking on one of them – or don’t – and see what materializes. During my experience, I clicked on the interior design icon (of course).
3. Voilà! A cascade of actual web page screen shots present themselves. In this case, PLiNTH & CHiNTZ just happens to be first. But if P&C isn’t what you were looking for, then use the sliding toggle bar or blue arrows at the bottom to sift through the options.
The icing on this cupcake is that for those balanced brains like mine, SearchMe has kindly offered up a compromise. Below that sliding navigation bar sits subtle little up & down arrows. Click on that button, and the graphics portion shrinks up, revealing the corresponding text listings at the bottom. But why would you need both” Sometimes you’ve visited a site before, and you remember what it looks like, but not its name. Conversely, you might recognize the name of a site that you heard about on the radio or read about in a magazine, but have no idea what it looks like.
So be sure to add SearchMe (and PLiNTH & CHiNTZ) to your favorites, and we’ll chat again on the other side of May. Go Taureans!
Laura McDonald Stewart, ASID / IIDA
Interior Designer / Founder