CS W4170 User Interface Design—Final Projects
Fall 2009


In this project, design teams built a Flex application that allowed users to search for news obtained through the Microsoft Bing API 2.0. Each team used the API to provide the user with the ability to specify a series of queries and the category of news in which a search with each query should be performed. Over the course of this session, the application also made it possible for the user to simultaneously view the results of multiple queries. The following projects were presented on December 15, 2009.

SearchWheel screenshot Search Wheel.  Search Wheel is an application facilitating simultaneous news searches to be displayed in an attractive circular layout.  While it encompasses several features allowing for more efficient individual searches (such as filtering by category, time, or location, retrieving a previous search, and on-demand result details), the main focus of the application lies in the ability to connect search queries. If a story appears in more than one result, a line is drawn between the stories, allowing a user to see the relationships between different news topics and the various ways in which they currently connect.

(Matthew Semanyshyn, Hyunmin Lee, Jelena Gredjakina, and Jack Zhang)
SunsSearch screenshot SunsSearch.  SunsSearch is a web application that makes it possible for users to do several kinds of searching work. Our rich internet application uses what the Bing API 2.0 refers to. We support simple search—input key words and the result will be displayed. What's more, results can be sorted by category, location, sortby, and/or date queries, which makes the searching more efficient. The application makes it possible for users to view the results of multiple queries issued during one session simultaneously. The interface of our application is simple and clear, and we provide help to make first-time users comfortable.

(Heming Liu, Lina Ma, Meenakshi Sripal, and Jana Johnson)
BadaBing screenshot Bada-Bing.  The Bada-Bing application is a news comparison tool that uses the Bing API to quickly aggregate news articles in specific categories of the user's selection. Bada-Bing notes when the same article appears in multiple results so the user can make comparisons at a glance. It provides an overview mode, allowing users to rearrange their search results for closer comparison, and it saves the user's search history, allowing the repetition of old searches. With its automatic result and query counts to suggest relevance, Bada-Bing is the perfect tool for anyone who needs to gather news quickly.

(Kenneth Harvey, Anatoliy Vatmakhter, Sahar Hasan, and Steve Hehl)
Circa screenshot Circa.  Circa is a news search engine designed for people with a shortage of time and significant computer skills. Specifically, Circa is targeted to the middle-aged businessman who has many things on his mind and would like to search for many articles simultaneously. Circa's main features are easy category-specific searching, filtering existing searches, intuitive newspaper-like article display, saving articles in the newsstand, and handy widgets such as stocks, weather and time. With a polished, subtle and clean design, this search tool demonstrates the benefits of rich web applications while harnessing the power of the Bing search engine.

(Daniel Wilkey, Daniel Lasry, Jordan Schau, and Samantha Ainsley)
Frites screenshot Frites.  Frites is a multi-topic news browsing web application that allows users to browse one or more news topics at once in a very effective manner. A user can enter one or more queries into Frites and retrieve news results for all the queries at once. All the news results are displayed using clouds of keywords (interesting words extracted from the news headlines) so as to not overwhelm users with new headlines. Frites then allows a user to quickly get more detail on demand by clicking on any cloud to zoom. This displays even more keywords and provides users with more context as to what kind of news results are in the cloud. Finally, a user can click on keyword while "zoomed in" to bring up a list of the news articles that contain the keyword. As such, Frites is designed to be unlike any news search application ever seen and focuses heavily on allowing users to browse news results effectively instead of just listing columns of search results. Feel free to try it out at http://www.anthonyyim.com/frites !

(Anthony Yim, Ankit Mehta, Becky Tang, and Thibaut Crenn)
Right Here, Right Now screenshot Right Here, Right Now. Right here, Right now is a web application that allows you to search for news on the web and see the results for each query concurrently. Its interface is consistent and facilitates the organization of the results, thanks to the window system it uses for news, while helping the user to focus on the content. The application can show, in an intuitive way, which news items were returned by more than one query, and it also provides the necessary feedback to the user while performing the query.

(Yuan Wang, Eliane Kabkab, Manuel Entrena, and Shrenik Sadalgi)
Flexible News screenshot FLEXibleNews. FLEXibleNews is a news viewer that displays Bing's news in a highly categorized, graphical display. Headlines are sized according to the number of related articles, and categories are sized according to the sum of the related articles of their headlines. Each category has a unique color. Users can search for terms, and they are displayed as "meta categories," in a new rectangle with a new color. Users are also able to register for accounts and login, allowing them to save articles and to save the display layout across sessions and computers.

(Jonathan Bell, Brian Lu, Jeff Sinckler, and Satyajeet Shaligram)
OmniSearch screenshot OmniSearch. OmniSearch is an Adobe AIR application that supports searching multiple queries and viewing the results simultaneously. We hope that OmniSearch could make searching a more convenient and time-saving job, so the user interface is designed much like those of some current popular search engines. OmniSearch supports searching by Category, by States and by Date. In addition, It can show top news and highlight searching results if they turn up in the results of multiple queries.

(Christian Whitehouse, Dong Ouk Moon, Shaoqing Niu, Ye Liu, and Zitong Wei)
BigNews screenshot BigNews. BigNews is a Bing News front-end with the intention of helping those with visual and motor difficulties. It has various facilities, including well laid out tab-navigation, to keyboard shortcuts for all common functionality, larger mouse target areas where necessary, as well as facilities for changing text size.

(Michael Glass, Waseem Ilahi, and David Flerlage)
NewsDeck screenshot NewsDeck. NewsDeck is based on the concept of TweetDeck, but NewsDeck is designed to aggregate news from various sources, rather than friends from your favorite social networking sites. It allows users to discover news stories and find common articles by browsing a list of general topics, searching the Bing news directory for a subject of interest, or via RSS feeds. NewsDeck's column interface provides a simple way for users to manipulate and save their favorite news sources. The goal of this project was to provide everyone with a simple and intuitive way for viewing a lot of news at once.

(Sean Hernandez, Beoomjong Kwon, Naiteek Sangani, and Matt Ward)