At the Ref Desk (5/12/20): We have entered the Age of Lookups. [more...]

The World is not (only) a Search Box

Submitted by Leo Klein on Tue, 5/4/10 (8:59am)

Interesting conclusion from a round of usability testing by Gerry McGovern:

The larger the website, the more important it becomes to have quality search. However, the foundation of all great websites is, and always will be, quality navigation. In fact, there is a direct correlation between the quality of your navigation and the quality of your search. The better the navigation, the better the search results will be.

This reminds me of a website evaluation I once read about. The site was poorly organized and full of library jargon but for some reason the authors just couldn't figure out why people preferred using the search box over using the site's navigation. This indicated, they concluded, that more work needed to be done -- drum roll, please -- on improving search results. I just had to laugh.