Posted on March 12, 2013

Whenever I’m starting a new design project, one of the first things I’ll do is search for good examples of what I’m trying to design (whether that’s interfaces, logos, typography, etc). However, if you search for ‘logos’ on Google Images you’ll get a lot of trash returned, so instead I find myself trawling the same few sites—Dribbble, Designspiration, Behance—looking for ideas and inspiration (and ending up with about six dozen browser tabs open).

To make this quicker, easier and—well—nicer, Pete and I have created Niice: a search engine with taste. The core idea is pretty simple; since it only searches a few hand-picked sources (Behance, Dribbble and Designspiration for now), it only returns good results… even if you search for ‘poop’.

Some of the results for ‘poop’ on Niice; my favourite is the pigeon. Click on the image to try it out for yourself.
Screenshot of Niice

While Google is great when you’re looking for one image in particular, when you’re searching for inspiration what you really want is as many high-quality examples of an idea or style as possible. Niice asks you what you’re looking for, then gets the heck out of the way so you can look at it.

This is very much a first pass (designed, built and launched in a week), so there are still a few bugs to iron out, and we’ve got tons of big ideas for the future, but we’re really chuffed with the response so far; in the first week we passed 100k views and got nominated for a .Net Award (Side Project of the Year), and we’re currently seeing around 2k visits per day. So it seems like there could be a place for a niche (niiche?) search engine like this.

We’d love to hear your feedback and suggestions for improvement, so have a play and let us know what you think. You can also follow @Niiceapp for updates and kitten GIFs.