From an innovation standpoint, Juice’s integration of drag and drop technology with Web-based research is a useful idea. The notion of dragging and dropping a word or phrase into another window that automatically conducts a multi-source Web search is attractive. But after downloading the Beta version, Juice’s service hurt more than it helped. The sidebar cluttered my browser, and the turning in my stomach eventually made me kick the interface to the curb. Perhaps Linkool International’s next release will not be as agitating.

The search interface needs work. Opening the sidebar decreases the size of the original page and forces the user to use the scroll bar to view an entire Web page, which is never a good thing. Perhaps the drag and drop should be directed to a smaller box in the corner of the Web page (you can call it the JuiceBox), which subsequently opens a new page tab that automatically implements the search. Doing this will optimize Juice’s efficiency because directing results from Wikipedia, Google News, YouTube and other Web tools is too cumbersome for a sidebar that is a quarter the size of a standard Mozilla Web page.

Juice's rocking webcast from Linkool Labs on Vimeo.

The media storage ability is another highlight of the Beta release that is yet to fulfill its potential. With Juice, users are able to drag videos and images to the sidebar and save them for later access. This capability is intriguing. However, Juice’s next release should enable the user to classify the stored media, for example, under categories like music genres, political speeches, or artists.

Juice’s sidebar is based on an attractive premise, but Linkool Labs' current manifestation does not accomplish its intended goal of optimizing efficiency in Web surfing. Follow my aforementioned recommendations, and the Beijing-based company may be onto something. See for yourself and download Juice’s new Beta sidebar here.