Taking the Google Wonder Wheel for a Spin

I tried out the Google Wonder Wheel today–it’s being rolled out as an experiment, but you can enable the cookie yourself by entering the following into the address bar after a Google query:


As I blogged yesterday, I’m glad that Google is giving exploratory / HCIR approaches a shot. But I’m shocked at how far behind they seem to be, especially given the incredible talent of Google employees.

In fact, the Wonder Wheel reminds me of work AltaVista did over a decade ago, close to heart because of related work I did at IBM Research. I’d be more impressed if the related topics were of higher quality, but they seem to be lagging far behind the state of the art. Which makes it all the more understandable that they don’t promote such features to users.

I’d like to get more excited about such efforts, but I fear that they are being set up to fail and will be used as evidence against HCIR in general. I hope at least that more informed technologists recognize these efforts as less than representative of what can be done using richer interface metaphors, and will keep working on improving the tools to support information seeking.

By Daniel Tunkelang

High-Class Consultant.

10 replies on “Taking the Google Wonder Wheel for a Spin”

What a total piece of Bull shit. Copy pasting the javascript into the adreessbar DOESN’T work. Nothing is enabled. Total lie. Crap.


A little syntactic correction: you don’t paste the javascript after the URL – you replace the url in the address bar with the javascript.

The article text is ambiguous in that respect.

Then click on “Show Options” and Wonder Wheel is on the left bottom.


[…] Daniel Tunkelang has brought my attention to another blog entry about some of the tests that Google is carrying out at the moment. As well as letting you view timelines, and a ‘wonder wheel’ of connections, the options it lets you test include adding thumbnails to each search result (something that has been doing for a while) and also allowing you to see more than 2 lines of text per result. […]


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