The New Image of Search

Recently, Mark Scholl tweeted I need a new picture to satisfy business purposes.. While I realize now that he probably meant a photo of himself, he’s “the search guy” to me, so I first thought that he wanted an icon that represented what he did.
When we think of search, we think of that trusty magnifying glass. But is that really appropriate today? When was the last time you ‘searched’ for something online and had to try really hard to find it? These days our bigger problem is weeding through the huge results set. The problem now isn’t finding something, it’s filtering to find the best thing.
So what’s an icon for a filter? Other than a sieve, of course. The first thing that comes to mind for me is that little org-chart icon, with the boxy-thing above two other boxy-things. But does that really capture “search”?

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