Google has its SearchMash to test new Ajax and Java powered search tools, and now Ask has Ask X.
And Lisa has this to say about Ask X:
The difference between Ask X and Google’s SearchMash is that Ask X is totally awesome.
BAM!! Shake N’ Bake Lisa!
Ask is calling the new user interface “Ask X” and refers to it on their new About page as a “double secret sandbox for Ask experiences of the future”. So is this just an interface update or the equivalent to Google’s SearchMash – a place where they can test stuff that they’re not sure about? I’m not sure.
The results page interface uses a three pane system. The left side acts as your “control panel” where users can quickly narrow, expand or refine their search. In the middle, you’ll find your AJAX-flavored search results where searchers can take advantage of Ask’s Binoculars, Smart Answers, and other tools, as well as instantly save the URL. The way I’ve seen it, there are typically two sponsored results on top, with a few more down at the bottom of the SERP.