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At PSFK CONFERENCE SAN FRANCISCO, Stephanie Horstmanshof and Kristin Dean shared the evolution of the Bing homepage and how they choose the most compelling images to create a more immersive internet search experience. Around 2008, they noticed that all search engines seemed to utilize plain white backgrounds and a simple text box for the sake of minimizing page load times. After introducing imagery on the homepage, Bing’s predecessor LiveSearch.com saw a surge in positive customer feedback as well as a distinctive reputation that separated it from other search engines.
Several years later, Bing has evolved to beautify the web. Today, it not only has images but also videos and full 360 degree environments that can be explored by the user, all seamlessly integrated in to the landing page.
Horstmanshof and Dean have developed a strict criteria for selecting compelling images that are not just pretty, but will also spark user interest and interaction: A Bing homepage must be beautiful and intriguing, capture an image from new and unusual angles, create a rich mix of subjects, colors and emotions, not contain any product placement, and not look like an image taken in a studio.