Findability Standards


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High-level overview of Findability Standards developed at HBS in the context of Websites, Intranet sites and software apps. This slide deck covers the following Findability components: User Research, Search Engine, Content being indexed, Creators of the content, and Management & Support. UI standards are in a separate slide deck to be uploaded soon.

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Findability Standards

  1. 1. HBS Findability Standards:User Research, Engine, Content, Creators, Management/SupportFor Web, Intranet, and ApplicationsRavi MynampatyCopyright © President & Fellows of Harvard College
  2. 2. What is Findability?In the context of HBS Web, Intranet, and Apps…1. The way in which end-users locate information.2. The way the information is displayed so that end-users understand what they have found.3. The precision and relevance of the information presented to them. @ravimynampaty 2
  3. 3. What is the problem?• Proliferation of different search tools• Multiple UI design patterns• No optimization, standardization• No formal support system• No formal feedback system• Risk: Users not finding information they need @ravimynampaty 3
  4. 4. What’s this all about?1. Develop a global view of HBS Findability2. Develop standards, practices, support mechanisms3. Develop a plan for the evolution of HBS Findability @ravimynampaty 4
  5. 5. Findability ComponentsA. User Research (includes Analytics)B. UI – covered in a separate slide deckC. EngineD. ContentE. CreatorsF. Management & Support @ravimynampaty 5
  6. 6. Findability Components: Framework Modified from “Search Patterns”, Morville & Callender 6
  7. 7. A. User Research Standards1. Every Website, Intranet Site, and application that requires a findability function should have measureable findability objectives established.2. Findability user needs from the perspective of the stakeholder/business owner should be established for primary user segments of the UI in question.3. A findability analytics plan should be established in order to understand user search behavior. @ravimynampaty 7
  8. 8. A. User Research Standards4. Findability usability testing should be included in the overall usability testing plan during the design process as part of a project.5. Ensure all events on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) are trackable by the analytics package. Ensure all search URLs, UIs, etc. are tagged for analytics.6. Establish baseline (measures and values) for search data based on a core set of standard reports designed to meet findability objectives. @ravimynampaty 8
  9. 9. B. UI Standards• 15 standards listed in a separate slide deck. @ravimynampaty 9
  10. 10. C. Engine Standards1. Basic functionality a. Multi-word queries b. Search by email id and substring for HBS people information. c. Leverage security permissions of the application layer. (Do not have the search engine determine access rights.) d. Stemming e. Wildcard usage f. Scoped/fielded searches (e.g., contenttype:”HBS Case”, site:””) g. Result sorting mechanisms h. Support Boolean AND logic for multiple query terms, i.e., all terms entered by the user should appear in records returned by the engine. This should be the default setting. @ravimynampaty 10
  11. 11. D. Engine Standards1. Basic functionality (continued) i. Spelling suggestions, i.e., A "Did you mean…?” function j. Sub-second response times. k. Recognition and indexing of explicit and implicit content metadata. This metadata can be used for presenting refinement options and for faceted navigation. l. Best bets functionality m. A web-based UI for tuning the relevance algorithm. n. Support indexing of multiple datatypes such as MS Office, PDFs, and XML. o. Support a web services API. For example, the ability to return results as JavaScript objects and/or XML. This will allow for integration with federated functionality. @ravimynampaty 11
  12. 12. D. Engine Standards2. Add keyword search to browse-only search functions.3. Present results in a structured format if metadata exists for that content and is indexable by the search engine.4. Tune the default result ranking algorithm for your unique combination of users, content, and business goals. @ravimynampaty 12
  13. 13. E. Content Standards1. Develop and adopt a formal content policy for the project2. Follow the Content Tagging Quality Assurance Program established by the KLS IMS team, tag content with appropriate metadata to support access.3. Follow the Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) Program standards established by the KLS ILM team.4. Use HBS Information Type Metadata Templates in content creation tools. 13 @ravimynampaty
  14. 14. E. Creators Standards1. Follow the established content policy and content plan.2. Use content creation tools provided for this collection of content. These tools should include the HBS Information Type Metadata Templates.3. Examine analytics reports and incorporate findings into content creation process.4. Meet HBS content and metadata quality criteria in the creation process. @ravimynampaty 14
  15. 15. F. Management & Support Standards1. Define and implement a findability plan.2. Define and implement a findability analytics program to meet the findability objectives for the Web, the Intranet, and individual sites and applications.3. Define and implement support services agreement to meet ongoing Findability support services. @ravimynampaty 15
  16. 16. Thank You• Questions? @ravimynampaty 16