Sunmee Huh took a Google Custom Search engine and tweaked it to make it more ergonomic for older users and a little less confusing to novice searchers. The result is called Good50 and it’s available at http://www.good50.com. While it’s not quite perfect — some of the functionality doesn’t work for me — it’s a good start.
Good50 was designed to be help users who might have eye fatigue and strain while searching. You can see that from the home page, which has both a logo and a search box that might be considered larger than usual. Good50’s search results are Safesearch-enabled, so adult-oriented search results will theoretically not show up on Good50 (I don’t trust machine filtering completely.) Search results are set so that sponsored ads are only on the right (instead of on the right and on top) and there’s a setting on the top so you can enlarge search results to up to 200% of the default size.
… at least that’s what supposed to happen. It didn’t work for me so I contacted Ms. Huh, who said that this setting only works with Internet Explorer (yuck!) She did say that she’s going to get it working with Firefox.
If you want to search something besides the regular Web you might want to check out the “Shopping” tag, which applies the same large-font features to a search of over 700 shopping/brand sites.
Of course this site is of limited use as long as you can only enlarge the font with Internet Explorer and not Firefox, but when that’s fixed I do know a few people with whom I’m going to share Good50. How about some additional tools that will assist in making pages more readable? It’s great to be able to get a large page of search results, but then you still might be confronted with a Web site that has a black background, white text, and a six-point font…