Posted by: David | April 19, 2011

Search: Unsatisfactory, Too Good and We are Incompetent

Jakob Nielsen, my favorite usability expert, excoriates search engines and searchers in his latest Alertbox.

The problem, or problems, in his eyes (but my words).

  • We are lazy f-bombs and accept the first results we see.
  • We search before we think.
  • We don’t use advanced search, and when we do, we screw it up.

Now his words:

The problem … is that search engines are turning into “answer engines”. Users are being trained to limit themselves to pages included in the SERP (search engine results page) listing.

… Ironically, the better search gets, the more dangerous it gets as people increasingly assume that whatever the search engine coughs up must be the answer.

Depressing, but important, reading.


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