Jonathan Adler and David Bromstad Talk Bing, Design, and Tech

From left to right: David Bromstad, Cesar Galindo, Bing, Ingrid Abramovitch and Jonathan Adler talk design and tech.

How many tech industry figures does it take to make a new logo? All of the above and surely more, as Bing has just rolled out a new logo and a new look for their search engine.

The new logo gives Yahoo!’s logo redesign a run for its money in time and energy (and probably money) spent on figuring out how exactly Bing should be represented in the next few years. Months of research and hundreds of studies (plus a few mock ads along the way) all contributed to the making of the new Bing logo. But, in the end, it might be appropriate to say that the redesign was more an effort to bring Bing in line with all of the other Microsoft products being offered today – the font is now the same as what you would find on the Office 365 logo, or the Outlook logo (Segoe, which is Microsoft’s corporate font, if you really want to dig in to the details). Bing will get the color orange, along with its own accompanying logo – a stylized ‘b’ that uses lots of sharp angles that are extended in the larger logo, which looks a bit like a lot of spotlights shining from various angles on the ‘b.’

But, you might be more interested in what the people above have to say about what Bing will actually be doing differently in the months to come. A lot, as it turns out – in some ways bringing Bing up to speed with Google, and in other ways trying very hard to differentiate itself. Bing Snapshot and Sidebar, which gave extra information about popular search topics and relevant Facebook posts from friends, respectively, have been combined into one huge sidebar on the right half of the search results page. It’s something that’s going to be well-suited to things like celebrities, sports teams, and tourist attractions, but it will be interesting to see how it evolves in the future.

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New Bing logo for 2013

Page Zero is Bing’s predictive search offering. It’s not just about predictive search – it specializes in ambiguous search terms. So, if you type in, say, Bryan Cranston, on the sidebar you’ll see options to go to search results for the actor himself or for Breaking Bad. Back in the search bar, you’ll see predictive search results as well as options to navigate deeply into certain websites – say, straight into the politics section of CNN, instead of just the home page.

Pole Position is the predictive feature for very clear search queries. Like with Google, this can mean seeing detailed weather forecasts on the search results page when you search for weather in a city. It’s based on the information aggregated from the new Snapshot discussed above, and the intent is that the service will improve as more and more information about people’s search habits is collected.

The final point here is integration. Bing is trying to be like Google in the sense of breaking out of just being a standalone service. To that end, Bing will, of course, be integrated into virtually every Microsoft product, not the least of which will be Xbox One, which will support voice search using Bing. Microsoft’s other trump card is a partnership with Apple. At their WWDC in June, Apple announced that Bing would now be powering Siri’s search results, something that will come to fruition with the impending release of the iPhone 5S and iOS 7.

On hand last night, leading design and fashion experts weighed in on the technology meets fashion and design phenomenon. Clearly everyone from David Bromstad to Jonathan Adler had their own views on the subject. In the end, it was clear, whether they liked it or not – technology was weaving itself into trends and design unlike never before. That instead of designing around it, they can now embrace it and use it as tool for further creativity.

So, Bing is making some big changes. It’s all wonderful in theory, but time will tell very soon how well Microsoft’s search technology is going to work in practice. Bing has always had to deal with the stigma of having inferior search results to that of Google, and that’s something they’re still going to need to work on shedding. These new features could go a long way in helping to accomplish that. And, who knows, maybe they’ll even be able to help Siri’s reputation, too.

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