search archives
“The better search gets, the more dangerous it gets.”
Jakob Nielsen in an interesting article on how people’s lack of research skills hampers their ability to search effectively—despite or maybe even partially because of intelligent search engines. Highly relevant for me, as I’m working on a couple of search-related projects.

posted by ted on Monday, Apr 11, 2011

This is quite possibly the coolest search box I have ever seen. Way to go, Design Disease. So often search boxes are the last thing on a designer’s mind, yet it’s so easy to remove all the default styles and plop a wild background image behind the search input. I dig this kind of detail.

Update: Smashing Magazine put up a massive search article that talks about customization and design considerations. Great stuff.

posted by clifton on Wednesday, Dec 03, 2008

Google further cements its overlord status by making millions of LIFE magazine photos available for search. How about those Mormons?

posted by foster on Tuesday, Nov 18, 2008

Search patterns from Peter Morville. Great resource! We’re working on faceted search for General Conference.

posted by gilbert on Wednesday, Jun 25, 2008

Return of the Search Logs

A funny thing happened on the way to the search engine… Our latest batch of interesting North Temple search hits:

And one of our current favorites:

posted by ted on Thursday, May 08, 2008

posted by foster on Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008

“Humans are complex, convoluted, capricious, mutable, moody, multifaceted beings with broadly differing backgrounds, competencies, and frames of reference.”
John Ferrara, explaining why Search Behaviors are more complex than we sometimes give people credit for

posted by ted on Friday, Feb 01, 2008

Latest from the Logs

Peruse our latest search logs, from “thin spaces” to “dumb cannons.”

Also previously posted: We’ve got what you’re looking for… or not.

posted by ted on Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008

Portfolio and resume and (‘UI Design’ OR ‘Interaction Design’ OR ‘interface design’ OR hfe OR ‘human factors’) AND (lds OR ‘latter day saints’ OR Byu OR ‘brigham young’). A real hit from our search logs. Wow… perhaps the most extreme exception I’ve ever seen to the popular wisdom that people don’t know how to formulate Boolean searches…

posted by ted on Thursday, Dec 13, 2007

We’ve got what you’re looking for… or not.

As explored in previous posts, people look for the darndest things on NorthTemple. Here are lots more recent examples:

posted by ted on Friday, Nov 02, 2007

Searching Fun

Several months ago I posted some of the more interesting or humorous hits we’ve had from search engines. Over the intervening months, I’ve collected some more:

posted by ted on Thursday, Aug 30, 2007

Two more—we can apparently help with ikea traffic problems and the design of small temples for home.

posted by ted on Tuesday, Jun 05, 2007

It’s fun every once in a while to go through the logs and see what internet searches are driving people to your site. Here are a few of the more unusual ways people are finding North Temple via Search:

posted by ted on Tuesday, Jun 05, 2007

Top 10 Ideas for Increasing E-Commerce ROI

Jakob Nielsen just posted “10 High-Profit Redesign Priorities” based on his research with e-commerce sites. It’s an interesting list:

  1. Email Newsletters. I would not have thought of this as high on my list, but Nielsen makes a good case, especially if you are currently dependent on search engine traffic.
  2. Informative Product Pages. OK, so it’s obvious. Yet still so seldom done.
  3. High-Quality Photography. A case of balancing download times with the need to compellingly display your product.
  4. Product Differentiation and Comparisons. Amen to this one. I hate getting to a site and being unable to tell a wizz-bang from a whats-it. Too many companies seem to assume you already know their product strategy, down to the differentiating features of their own product lines.
  5. Support for Reordering. Like e-mailing newsletters, this one is especially important if you’re paying too much for search engine placement.
  6. Simplified Text. Here’s to my Master’s degree in Technical Communication from the UW…
  7. Catering to Seniors. Too many sites don’t bother accommodating the wealthiest segment of the population. (Not to mention the fact we should be honoring our parents, not frustrating them.)
  8. Gift-Giving Support. Gift certificates are becoming more and more popular… as we get lazier and lazier.
  9. Site Search. Nielsen is reluctant to push this too hard since the other items in his list can give a quicker return, but it’s still important.
  10. User Testing. Yes, yes—it’s the same old thing from Jakob. Wouldn’t it be nice if he were wrong? But he’s not. For sites with thousands or millions of diverse users, with loads of money on the line, face it—you can’t afford to be off-tack for long.

Here’s a link to Nielsen’s full article . While you’re at it, you might check out Search Engines as Leeches on the Web—a perspective I hadn’t really considered before…

posted by ted on Monday, Mar 12, 2007