Sunday, May 23, 2010

somethings about search

Web search has been a game changer in many ways. One of those ways is making users habituated to finding what they need, when they need it. Search has obviated the need to keep track of stuff on the internet anymore. What's more, users have come to expect search to work really, really well.

So when it doesn't, and people can't find what they thought was there, it becomes a matter of trust. That just the search part might be broken is not the first thing that they think: is the website just losing data?

If the internet were to be considered information organized as a tree, it would be two levels deep, with a search function as the root node.

Besides being a gateway to information, search is also the most natural way (as yet) users interact with computers - they type exactly what they are looking for. This is valuable information to gain insight about your users' intent.

If you are a website, are you letting users search? And, more importantly, search well?

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