I had the pleasure of hearing Peter Morville speak at a conference on Resource Discovery yesterday and his message really started to challenge my thinking on the role of IM.
I've been a disciple of metadata for many years.... tweak the search engine. But dont forget about the Information Architecture (IA)
Here are my take-aways:
Search is a way to learn. What we seek changes based on what we find. In our quest to optimize search we have to be careful that we do not remove the learning opportunity that search provides.
Search is not the only answer. We need to provide facetted navigation to provide context ...
In order for search to be successful:
- the best results HAVE to be first
- people expect actionable results
- auto-complete is a must
- auto-suggest, because it helps people get un-stuck
- predictability is a must, so that the next click is not a mystery