Every day on the Bing homepage, we strive to bring you a picture of the world that you’ve never seen before. Just a single image a day, but always something memorable and beautiful. But for all the variety we’ve explored through the thousands of images we’ve showcased on our homepage since 2009, there are still internet searchers for whom full motion videos of South Pacific beaches, images of exploding geysers or 3-D underwater scenes are just too engaging. Indeed we’ve been told many people come to Bing to find the name of the movie with tom cruise and a unicorn only to get lost for days clicking around the homepage image.
So we ran some numbers on this unique online behavior, did some ethnographic research to study habits and tastes; and then took a shot at redesigning Bing’s homepage to discourage this behavior of exploration and discovery. So today we’re running a special test, where if you visit bing.com and enter a certain telltale query, you’ll get something a little more bland. We decided to go back to basics, to the dawn of the Internet, to reimagine Bing with more of a 1997, dial-up sensibility in mind. We may see some uptick in our numbers based on this test, but the main goal here is just to learn more about how our world would look if we hadn’t evolved.