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6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 1Understanding SearchChristina Wodtke
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 2
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 3
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 4
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 5Search is a Tardis• Search lets you go everywhere in time andspace• Search is there when yo...
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 6This is not search
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 7This is not search
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 8This is search
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 9Search is a system, not a page• It underlies all activities on the web.• It is an environme...
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 10Is search so different?• User behave differently when searching• Much faster• Requires art...
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 11InterfacePrecisionRecallUser Psychology
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 12Speed of People Searchingis a Challenge• People take only asecond to search• People want t...
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 13Researching Search• Traditional researchmars results• Requires differentresearch methods– ...
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 14Search must be Easy• Help overcome “query block”• Offer tools for articulation• Use disamb...
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 15Query block?
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 16Articulation Problems• The vast number of searches are under 3 words• IN the US, 42% are s...
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 17Search must be EasyHelp overcome “query block”
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 18Query helpersPopular searches
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 19Use disambiguation tools
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 20Vertical SearchVertical search
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 21Vertical Search• As part of the system, how does verticalsearch help?– Disambiguation tool...
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 22Vertical Search- ChallengesUser tunnel vision
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 23Don’t overwhelm23• 13 tabs– no onesaw them. Six tabs,everyone saw them
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 24Embed.
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 25No one uses filters
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 26Except when they do
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 27Or they really really do
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 28ANSWERS
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 29What do you know?• Search is a question whose answer is notalways a website (or an article...
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 30Search must be EasyGive answers, not just links
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 31Best Bets (human intervention)• Analyze thehead• Analyzecontent• Maximizetheknowledge
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 32
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 33Human disambiguationHow do you useeditorial to besteffect?Humans don’t scale.
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 34Zipf curve (for search)Most common searches (head)Least common searches(tail)
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 35
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 36Logs FTW
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 37How people search
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 39Answers
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 40What unique answers do youpossess?• Your product knowledge• Your teams• Common issues
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 41Search must be Fast• Must retrieve results quickly• Must load results quickly• Must be rea...
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 42Every pixel has a job to do.
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 43ComprehensiveUsers expect you to look everywhereFrom Peter Morville’s Search Patterns
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 44Federated
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 45FindableTag it! Images don’t have descriptive metadata Many documents don’t have the wor...
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 46Simple ComplexSynonymRingsAuthorityFilesThesauriClassificationSchemesEquivalence Hierarchi...
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 47Controlled vocabularies47A=B ABA BEquivalenceChristmas=XmasHierarchalWinterHolidays >Chris...
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 48Synonym rings48• Simplest type• Helps with search, indexing• Simplifies maintenance
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 49Synonym rings include49• Acronyms: BBC, British BroadcastingCompany; MPG, miles per gallon...
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 50Why Bother?50• Sometimes onintranets, CV’s areskipped• You think you canforce people to us...
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 51Precision• Usually left to the engineers (don’t do that)• Users give up rather than check ...
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 52SME testing
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 53Mind-reading expectedAnd increasingly delivered
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 54Jakob Nielsen:“Poor search was thegreatest single cause ofreduced usability acrossintranet...
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 55Let’s Get Doctorin’ the TARDISChristina Wodtke@cwodtkecwodtke@eleganthack.comInformation A...
6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 56LET’S DISCUSSWhat is search for you?
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Understanding Search

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When we talk about search, what do you think about? Algorithms? Databases? Search is one of the most commonly used tools on the web, yet we treat it like a math problem. If we start with human behavior, expectations and patterns, we can design a search that is easier and more satisfying to use. We'll cover how users think of search, how they behave in information environments, common mistakes in testing and designing search, and how to make a better finding experience.

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  • Transcript of "Understanding Search"

    1. 1. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 1Understanding SearchChristina Wodtke
    2. 2. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 2
    3. 3. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 3
    4. 4. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 4
    5. 5. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 5Search is a Tardis• Search lets you go everywhere in time andspace• Search is there when you need it, whereever you are• Search is bigger on the inside
    6. 6. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 6This is not search
    7. 7. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 7This is not search
    8. 8. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 8This is search
    9. 9. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 9Search is a system, not a page• It underlies all activities on the web.• It is an environment people are learning tolive in: ambient search• It must be accessed everywhere the usermay need it, from desktop to ipad to kiosk
    10. 10. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 10Is search so different?• User behave differently when searching• Much faster• Requires articulation rather than recognition• Expectations high• Tunnel vision
    11. 11. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 11InterfacePrecisionRecallUser Psychology
    12. 12. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 12Speed of People Searchingis a Challenge• People take only asecond to search• People want to takeonly a second
    13. 13. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 13Researching Search• Traditional researchmars results• Requires differentresearch methods– Eyetracking– Bucket testing– Ethnography
    14. 14. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 14Search must be Easy• Help overcome “query block”• Offer tools for articulation• Use disambiguation tools• Give answers, not just links
    15. 15. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 15Query block?
    16. 16. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 16Articulation Problems• The vast number of searches are under 3 words• IN the US, 42% are single-word querieshttp://www.keyworddiscovery.com/keyword-stats.html
    17. 17. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 17Search must be EasyHelp overcome “query block”
    18. 18. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 18Query helpersPopular searches
    19. 19. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 19Use disambiguation tools
    20. 20. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 20Vertical SearchVertical search
    21. 21. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 21Vertical Search• As part of the system, how does verticalsearch help?– Disambiguation tool– Allows for greater precision– Some searches highly consumable– Raises awareness of offering
    22. 22. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 22Vertical Search- ChallengesUser tunnel vision
    23. 23. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 23Don’t overwhelm23• 13 tabs– no onesaw them. Six tabs,everyone saw them
    24. 24. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 24Embed.
    25. 25. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 25No one uses filters
    26. 26. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 26Except when they do
    27. 27. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 27Or they really really do
    28. 28. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 28ANSWERS
    29. 29. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 29What do you know?• Search is a question whose answer is notalways a website (or an article)• What ANSWERS are possible?
    30. 30. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 30Search must be EasyGive answers, not just links
    31. 31. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 31Best Bets (human intervention)• Analyze thehead• Analyzecontent• Maximizetheknowledge
    32. 32. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 32
    33. 33. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 33Human disambiguationHow do you useeditorial to besteffect?Humans don’t scale.
    34. 34. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 34Zipf curve (for search)Most common searches (head)Least common searches(tail)
    35. 35. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 35
    36. 36. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 36Logs FTW
    37. 37. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 37How people search
    38. 38. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 39Answers
    39. 39. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 40What unique answers do youpossess?• Your product knowledge• Your teams• Common issues
    40. 40. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 41Search must be Fast• Must retrieve results quickly• Must load results quickly• Must be read quicklyScan time is as important as load time.Every pixel has a job to do.
    41. 41. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 42Every pixel has a job to do.
    42. 42. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 43ComprehensiveUsers expect you to look everywhereFrom Peter Morville’s Search Patterns
    43. 43. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 44Federated
    44. 44. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 45FindableTag it! Images don’t have descriptive metadata Many documents don’t have the words users use Metadata can also let you give the user more options forsearching and displaying results Search Analytics hint: Search Logs can provide insight intothe attributes users care most about
    45. 45. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 46Simple ComplexSynonymRingsAuthorityFilesThesauriClassificationSchemesEquivalence Hierarchical Associative(Vocabularies)(Relationships)Controlled Vocabulary Types
    46. 46. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 47Controlled vocabularies47A=B ABA BEquivalenceChristmas=XmasHierarchalWinterHolidays >ChristmasAssociativeChristmasTree | SantaClaus
    47. 47. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 48Synonym rings48• Simplest type• Helps with search, indexing• Simplifies maintenance
    48. 48. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 49Synonym rings include49• Acronyms: BBC, British BroadcastingCompany; MPG, miles per gallon• Variant spellings: cancelled, canceled;honor, honour• Scientific terms versus popular useterms: acetylsalicylic acid, aspirin;lilioceris, lily beetle– From Synonym Rings and Authority Filesby Karl Fast, Fred Leise and Mike Steckel
    49. 49. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 50Why Bother?50• Sometimes onintranets, CV’s areskipped• You think you canforce people to useproper terms• But people arelazy/busy/distractedI’m tired of typing “ControlledVocabulary--- CV is shorter.
    50. 50. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 51Precision• Usually left to the engineers (don’t do that)• Users give up rather than check thesecond page of results• The first answer must be the right answer
    51. 51. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 52SME testing
    52. 52. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 53Mind-reading expectedAnd increasingly delivered
    53. 53. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 54Jakob Nielsen:“Poor search was thegreatest single cause ofreduced usability acrossintranets we haveseen, aside from the generallack of executive supportand budget. Search usabilityaccounted for an estimated43% of the difference inemployee productivitybetween intranets with highand low usability.”
    54. 54. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 55Let’s Get Doctorin’ the TARDISChristina Wodtke@cwodtkecwodtke@eleganthack.comInformation Architecture:Blueprints for the Webwww.boxesandarrows.com
    55. 55. 6/21/2013 ChristinaWodtke.com 56LET’S DISCUSSWhat is search for you?
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