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The Scent of Search
Making search more usable with information scent.




                                   Tyler Tate
  ...
Optimal Foraging Theory
   Organisms seek to maximise energy
      intake for a given unit of time
M A N   T H E


INFORMAVORE
1,200 Exabytes
    i n   2 0 1 0
“A wealth of information
creates a poverty of attention.”
   – Herbert Simon
Information Foraging Theory
  The study of how humans interact with information.
11 tradeoff.png
12 info scent.png
13 a usability.png
13 b usability.png
13 c usability.png
13 d usability.png
13 e usability.png
How Do People Search?
Expertise
People vary be their...
     Search expertise (familiarity with common design patterns)
     Domain expertise (k...
Goals

what is the current
  temperature?                 book a holiday




       Recall                 Exploration
14 a old model.png
14 b new model.png
Concept screen by IDEO
Amateur vs. Expert




                     Recall vs. Exploration
Amateur vs. Expert




                     Recall vs. Exploration
moderate




                                                                                   co
                       ...
moderate




                                                                                   co
                       ...
Information Diversity


buy a book       learn about italy




  Uniform         Diverse
17 searchbox title.png
1. It should look like a searchbox, feel like a
searchbox, and act like a searchbox.
1. It should look like a searchbox, feel like a
searchbox, and act like a searchbox.
2. Use autocomplete to boost user’s
confidence and help prevent spelling errors.




                                     ...
23 search results
    title.png
3. Indicate the number of results
4. Use descriptive, 7-12 word titles

5. Highlight matching words




                                       The Guardian
6. When it’s likely that the first 1-3 results are
what the user is looking for, top hits provide
additional info to help ...
7. Try to avoid 0-result screens
36 facets title.png
8. Breadcrumbs describe what the user is
looking at, how he got there, and — if a mistake
was made — how to get back.




...
9. Clickable metadata enables organic filtering
of the results
9. Filter counts give users a more complete
picture of the result set
9. Filter counts give users a more complete
picture of the result set
10. A meaningful visualisation makes complex
information tangible
10. A meaningful visualisation makes complex
information tangible




                                               TED
10. A meaningful visualisation makes complex
information tangible




                                               Starb...
10. A meaningful visualisation makes complex
information tangible




                                           New York ...
10. A meaningful visualisation makes complex
information tangible
Learn More

Read Peter Morville’s book “Search Patterns”
http://searchpatterns.org/

Read my article “The Scent of Search”...
The Scent of Search
Making search more usable with information scent.




                                   Tyler Tate
  ...
The Scent of Search, Take 2
The Scent of Search, Take 2
The Scent of Search, Take 2
The Scent of Search, Take 2
The Scent of Search, Take 2
The Scent of Search, Take 2
The Scent of Search, Take 2
The Scent of Search, Take 2
The Scent of Search, Take 2
The Scent of Search, Take 2
The Scent of Search, Take 2
The Scent of Search, Take 2
The Scent of Search, Take 2
The Scent of Search, Take 2
The Scent of Search, Take 2
The Scent of Search, Take 2
The Scent of Search, Take 2
The Scent of Search, Take 2
The Scent of Search, Take 2
The Scent of Search, Take 2
The Scent of Search, Take 2
The Scent of Search, Take 2
The Scent of Search, Take 2
The Scent of Search, Take 2
The Scent of Search, Take 2
The Scent of Search, Take 2
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The Scent of Search, Take 2

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This talk was recently presented to an audience at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) near Cambridge, England.

Published in: Design, Technology

Transcript of "The Scent of Search, Take 2"

  1. 1. The Scent of Search Making search more usable with information scent. Tyler Tate @tylertate
  2. 2. Optimal Foraging Theory Organisms seek to maximise energy intake for a given unit of time
  3. 3. M A N T H E INFORMAVORE
  4. 4. 1,200 Exabytes i n 2 0 1 0
  5. 5. “A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.” – Herbert Simon
  6. 6. Information Foraging Theory The study of how humans interact with information.
  7. 7. 11 tradeoff.png
  8. 8. 12 info scent.png
  9. 9. 13 a usability.png
  10. 10. 13 b usability.png
  11. 11. 13 c usability.png
  12. 12. 13 d usability.png
  13. 13. 13 e usability.png
  14. 14. How Do People Search?
  15. 15. Expertise People vary be their... Search expertise (familiarity with common design patterns) Domain expertise (knowledge in a certain area) find the current temperature lookup a protein sequence Amateurs Experts
  16. 16. Goals what is the current temperature? book a holiday Recall Exploration
  17. 17. 14 a old model.png
  18. 18. 14 b new model.png
  19. 19. Concept screen by IDEO
  20. 20. Amateur vs. Expert Recall vs. Exploration
  21. 21. Amateur vs. Expert Recall vs. Exploration
  22. 22. moderate co hi ple m complexity gh x it y Amateur vs. Expert lookup a Bloomberg genetic sequence moderate complexity web search booking a flight lo w co m Recall vs. Exploration pl ex i ty
  23. 23. moderate co hi ple m complexity gh x it y Amateur vs. Expert lookup a Bloomberg genetic sequence moderate complexity web search booking a flight lo w co m Recall vs. Exploration pl ex i ty
  24. 24. Information Diversity buy a book learn about italy Uniform Diverse
  25. 25. 17 searchbox title.png
  26. 26. 1. It should look like a searchbox, feel like a searchbox, and act like a searchbox.
  27. 27. 1. It should look like a searchbox, feel like a searchbox, and act like a searchbox.
  28. 28. 2. Use autocomplete to boost user’s confidence and help prevent spelling errors. Globrix, eBay, Last.fm
  29. 29. 23 search results title.png
  30. 30. 3. Indicate the number of results
  31. 31. 4. Use descriptive, 7-12 word titles 5. Highlight matching words The Guardian
  32. 32. 6. When it’s likely that the first 1-3 results are what the user is looking for, top hits provide additional info to help users make their decision.
  33. 33. 7. Try to avoid 0-result screens
  34. 34. 36 facets title.png
  35. 35. 8. Breadcrumbs describe what the user is looking at, how he got there, and — if a mistake was made — how to get back. Wireframe by Greg Nudleman
  36. 36. 9. Clickable metadata enables organic filtering of the results
  37. 37. 9. Filter counts give users a more complete picture of the result set
  38. 38. 9. Filter counts give users a more complete picture of the result set
  39. 39. 10. A meaningful visualisation makes complex information tangible
  40. 40. 10. A meaningful visualisation makes complex information tangible TED
  41. 41. 10. A meaningful visualisation makes complex information tangible Starbucks
  42. 42. 10. A meaningful visualisation makes complex information tangible New York Times
  43. 43. 10. A meaningful visualisation makes complex information tangible
  44. 44. Learn More Read Peter Morville’s book “Search Patterns” http://searchpatterns.org/ Read my article “The Scent of Search” http://johnnyholland.org/2010/07/05/the-scent-of-search/ Read Marti Hearst’s book “Search User Interfaces” http://johnnyholland.org/2010/07/05/the-scent-of-search/ Check out Endeca’s design pattern library http://patterns.endeca.com/
  45. 45. The Scent of Search Making search more usable with information scent. Tyler Tate @tylertate
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