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Search: The Purest Form of Interaction Design

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Presented at Adaptive Path's UX Week 2007.

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Search: The Purest Form of Interaction Design

  1. 1. Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design UX Week 2007 Wednesday, August 15 Chiara Fox chiara@adaptivepath.com
  2. 2. An IA Speaking on IxD? UX Week 2007 – Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design 2
  3. 3. What’s So Hard About Search? UX Week 2007 – Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design 3
  4. 4. Just Slap a Search Box On There UX Week 2007 – Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design 4
  5. 5. There’s More To It Than That • Understanding what happens behind the scenes will make us better designers. • We need to know the limitations and restrictions ourselves, not take vendors’ or IT’s word for it. • The end user must still come first. UX Week 2007 – Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design 5
  6. 6. Search Affects Everyone • Not just an IT problem. • Not just an information architecture or findability problem. • It’s also an interaction design problem. • AND IT’S STILL NOT SOLVED! UX Week 2007 – Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design 6
  7. 7. Search = Information Retrieval UX Week 2007 – Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design 7
  8. 8. How Search Basically Works Searching Indexing Crawling UX Week 2007 – Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design 8
  9. 9. Spider Crawls Content Content UX Week 2007 – Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design
  10. 10. Algorithm(s) Process & Build Index ? Index UX Week 2007 – Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design
  11. 11. Search Index to Retrieve Results query terms Search Index Results Set UX Week 2007 – Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design 11
  12. 12. So Really... • All searches are database lookups Database Index UX Week 2007 – Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design 12
  13. 13. Okay, Not Really... UX Week 2007 – Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design 13
  14. 14. Algorithms Are the Secret Sauce • Natural language processing • Pattern matching • Full text search • Page Rank • Stemming • and more... UX Week 2007 – Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design 15
  15. 15. Page Rank Isn’t the (Only) Answer • Page Rank says the importance of a page is judged by the number of pages linking to it as well as their importance. • Most popular doesn’t automatically mean the most relevant. • Really only works for web content. Intranets don’t link to content the way the blog-o-sphere does. UX Week 2007 – Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design 16
  16. 16. We Need Basic Literacy • As designers, we need to understand the basics of how these algorithms work. • Gives us power when we go to IT. They don’t hold all the knowledge – it’s partnership. • This stuff is hard – they aren’t going to offer to do more work for us unless we ask, and know what to ask for. UX Week 2007 – Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design 17
  17. 17. Enterprise Search Web Search local search tool(s) 3rd party engines customers or employees anyone structured & unstructured unstructured content control over content no content control insight into user tasks hard to know tasks tune engine for specific tune engine for generic needs tasks UX Week 2007 – Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design 18
  18. 18. Enterprise Search Can Suck UX Week 2007 – Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design 19
  19. 19. Can Also Allow for Refinement UX Week 2007 – Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design 20
  20. 20. It’s About Intention & Context • When we know what people want to do, we are better able to give them the tools to do it. • Easier to sniff out intention with a closed audience or within a narrow context. UX Week 2007 – Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design 21
  21. 21. General Web Search Is Different • Google, MSN and Yahoo! can’t know the context, intent or the user. • Must try to be all things to all people. UX Week 2007 – Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design 22
  22. 22. Where Can We Have Most Impact? • On our own site searches. • In vertical web searches. • On our intranets. UX Week 2007 – Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design 23
  23. 23. Search Experience Effects Site Use • Interactions with the site search influences how you use the site. • How can we make it so search is “quality time” for the user? • “I won’t search on their support site because I get poor results.” • “Why can’t it just work like Google?” UX Week 2007 – Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design 24
  24. 24. Search Has Changed Our Behavior • We don’t use encyclopedias anymore. • “Google” is a verb that appears in prime time TV. • 2-, 3- or 4-word phrases are used as queries in 72% of searches. 1-word queries account for only 13.5%.* • Search is seen as an “escape hatch” when browsing navigation doesn’t work. • We need to work with these changes. * According to European Web analytics provider OneStat in January 2007. UX Week 2007 – Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design 26
  25. 25. It’s How We Use the Tools We Have UX Week 2007 – Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design 27
  26. 26. We Aren’t Using What We Got • We don’t need to throw out our current search engine for the latest Google Box. • Looking at the user expereince of search and making changes there can drastically improve things. • The algorithms are good at finding stuff - we need to be better about putting it in context. UX Week 2007 – Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design 28
  27. 27. Search is About Choice • It’s more than a tool to get stuff done or find things. • It allows us to pick and choose out of all the information that is out there, the bits that are relevant to us, right now. • It’s how we learn what is available. UX Week 2007 – Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design 29
  28. 28. Focus on the Humans • Search should change to support me, the user. I shouldn’t have to change to use search. • The focus should be on the humans, not the machines. The machines are dumb. • We are not using the machines for what they are best at. UX Week 2007 – Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design 31
  29. 29. Search Engines Can’t Tell Intent blue suede shoes Search UX Week 2007 – Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design 32
  30. 30. Starting to See Web Search Change UX Week 2007 – Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design 33
  31. 31. The Future • Search not for answers, but people. • On the social web, will search become “word of mouth?” • Visual search will be more & more important. • Think of all the cool Web 2.0 applications and widgets that exist now. How will we search for them? • The Semantic Web UX Week 2007 – Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design 34
  32. 32. References to Learn More • CMS Watch. The Enterprise Search Report. http://www.cmswatch.com/ Search/Report/ • Search Tools website. http://www.searchtools.com/ • Search Engine Watch website. http://searchenginewatch.com/ • Baeza-Yates,Ricardo, Ribeiro-Neto, Berthier. Modern Information Retrieval. Addison Wesley Longman, 1999. • Battelle, John. The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture. Penguin Group, 2005. UX Week 2007 – Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design 35
  33. 33. Photo Credits - Thanks Flickr! • http://www.flickr.com/photos/geeknerd99/171659283/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/84178472@N00/416540994/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/bobydimitrov/492618684/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/simonaghita/469780760/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/gomattolson/187774538/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/book_slut/92868417/ • http://xkcd.com/155/ UX Week 2007 – Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design 36
  34. 34. Thank you! Chiara Fox chiara@adaptivepath.com UX Week 2007 – Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design 37

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