How to Think about Search

Findability Factors Include Technology and Tasks

October 7, 2004

Just about everyone we talk to is dissatisfied with how well their applications connect people with information. Briefly put, lots of people think search is terrible. We believe that the dissatisfaction reflects a focus on the wrong problem. The problem is not search. The problem is findability. If you think the problem is search, you focus your attention on your search technology. When you realize the problem is findability, you can broaden your focus to embrace the three factors of findability: the search engine, the filing system, and seeker knowledge. “Filing” is the bugaboo; it consists of two very difficult problems: consistency and making sure that your filing system reflects the way everyone thinks.


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