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Search results presentation Internet Librarian International 2007 Martin White Intranet Focus Ltd

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1 Search results presentation Internet Librarian International 2007 Martin White Intranet Focus Ltd

2 Intranet Focus Ltd £/$/ Intranet Focus Ltd. Founded in 1999 Intranet strategy CMS specification and selection Search specification and selection Enterprise information strategy Martin White Information scientist since 1970 Author of The Content Management Handbook (2005) Making Search Work (2007) Visiting Professor, Dept. of Information Studies, University of Sheffield Some clients International Monetary Fund (USA) Bank for International Settlements (Switzerland) United Nations (USA) Pfizer (USA) Boehringer Ingelheim (Germany) Ipsen Pharmaceuticals (France) British Museum (UK) Open University (UK) Kings College, London (UK) Rolls-Royce (UK) Environment Agency (UK) International Paper (USA) Alghanim Industries (Kuwait)

3 Intranet Focus Ltd The process of searching Marcia Bates transformed our thinking on searching in her work published in 1989 on berrypicking This was subsequently picked up by Peter Pirolli and Stuart Card (Xerox PARC) in their development of information foraging and information scent Both take account of how the brain processes information Short term versus long term memory Information chunking Learning through doing Pattern recognition Visual bias

4 Intranet Focus Ltd Berry picking Query 0 Query 2 Query 1 Information 1 Reflection Information 2Reflection Information 3Exit

5 Intranet Focus Ltd Key issues Search is carried out under pressure conditions Failure is not an option The user has to be able to have a dialogue with the search engine The usability of the search interface has to be intuitive to users with different search experiences and search requirements If people have to be trained to use an intranet search engine then you have lost before you begin Relevance is intensely personal and contextual One size does not fit all

6 Intranet Focus Ltd Scenarios – a case study A typical global pharmaceutical company Research scientists working on new drug formulations, needing access to highly confidential internal documents, chemical structure applications and also to external databases Clinical trials teams working through the drug registration process, again involving highly confidential information, much of it (but not all) in a numeric format Medical information specialists dealing with enquires from doctors and pharmacists about the correct use of the drugs, or initially reporting on adverse reactions. Speed of response is essential to deal with these enquiries. Language issues can arise

7 Intranet Focus Ltd Case study - 2 Further scenarios Product marketing teams working on product packaging, which may need to look at images of packing, videos of adverts and need to be aware of what is happening in the market place. Sales and marketing teams looking for information on sales channels, sales reports, and the activities of competitors, but usually to update what they already know, and not for in-depth research. Likely to be mobile workers Administration and support staff looking for policy and procedure documents. Unlike the groups above these documents may be in local language.

8 Intranet Focus Ltd Search screen design How will the collection of search results be presented? The objective has to be to facilitate subsequent phases of search if these are required to manage the document collection Different personas will have different expectations and requirements? What is good practice? The search engine vendors seem not to know, judging by their web sites! In general books on usability pay little attention to search issues, other than Chapter 8 of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web by Morville and Rosenfeld (OReilly 2006)

9 Intranet Focus Ltd The first page syndrome There is always an assumption that the most relevant information will be cited on the first page of the list of hits Even if there is a high numeric relevance ranking users will be reluctant to go further than perhaps 3 or 4 pages In 1956 George Miller wrote an article The Magical Number Seven Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information. This showed that the amount of information which people can process and remember is often limited to about seven items. It may even be smaller Re-engineering the human brain is not as easy as re-configuring a search engine

10 Intranet Focus Ltd Why we need a relevance metric Relevance Number of results 30?

11 Intranet Focus Ltd Are these good practice? Search speed in seconds Find similar Relevance ranking to five significant figures Relevance in a %/stars and also a bar Rank in date order Any list of results with more than 200 items URL strings, especially if session specific Search within results Search options below the fold File size indication to the nearest 0.1kb

12 Intranet Focus Ltd Search log analysis This is a fundamental element of a successful implementation It can be labour-intensive, and requires excellent knowledge of the organisation, why employees search and the way in which the search engine works Getting too many hits is just as much of a problem as too few, or even none Data volumes can be an issue. Not doing it is like a supermarket not tracking what its customers are buying

13 Intranet Focus Ltd It is going to get more challenging....for the user and the search management team Federated search Integration of searches on structured and semi-structured repositories Integration of results from wikis and blogs Integration of searches of email and IM repositories Presentation of results from video and other rich media Integration of internal and external searches Multiple language searches

14 Intranet Focus Ltd The search management team The minimum requirements are Project Manager – manages software enhancements and routine operational tasks around search, continuously measures search performance and makes sure that search is adapted to changing users needs. They also liaise with the IT implementation team and the vendors Information expert – supports the optimization of search by creating and managing taxonomies, dictionaries, controlled vocabularies, best bets, relevancy ranking, zero hits, meta data, etc. and integrates with the existing information management activities. Technical administrator - checks on server topics, manages the crawl schedule, sets up load-balancing and monitors and manages system performance User support - sets up and provides help desk and training, and provides a range of feedback channels so users can report when they have problems with search

15 Intranet Focus Ltd The search check list Uses web sites to illustrate what I think are good and poor practice A very personal viewpoint What do you think? Youve missed the plot You are on a different planet Youve missed some important issues Neat! Have I got an example for you! Sent me your comments, criticisms and suggestions

16 Intranet Focus Ltd Questions, suggestions…?

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