Remember the Yahoo! Directory? It was a hand-built taxonomy that allowed users to browse and discover Internet resources. By categorizing sites by topic and location, it became the definitive map of the World Wide Web. But at the turn of the millennium, Yahoo! transformed itself from a directory into a search engine. The task of organizing so many disparate items into a single coherent structure had simply become too overwhelming.
A decade later, this story is all too familiar. Online stores sell hundreds of thousands of items, social networks host millions of users, and Flickr hosts billions of photos. Navigation is no longer the future: Search is the key to sense-making in the digital universe.
Despite the growing influence of search on our daily lives, relatively few non-academic books have been published on the subject. While there are dozens of titles about designing web navigation, those on designing search can be counted on the fingers of one hand.
That’s why Tyler Tate and I set out to write Designing the Search Experience: The information architecture of discovery. For the last year and half we have been researching, drafting, and editing—striving to transform our ideas and insights into a coherent narrative.
To help maintain our focus we established three fundamental principles to guide the writing process:
- Integrated: Theoretical frameworks for human information seeking should be tightly integrated with practical design solutions, helping readers understand what, why, and how.
- Holistic: individual design patterns should be related to the overall user experience, and search itself re-framed within the broader context of analysis and discovery-oriented problem solving.
- Readable: The tone of voice should be informal and approachable, and the narrative driven by examples.
A brief summary is appended below. If you’d like to see more – including a free sample chapter – check out the book website. If you’re interested in reviewing it, drop us a line.
Designing the Search Experience: the Information Architecture of Discoveryby Tony Russell-Rose and Tyler Tate
Search is not just a box and ten blue links. Search is a journey: an exploration where what we encounter along the way changes what we seek. But in order to guide people along this journey, we must understand both the art and science of search.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN
Designing the Search Experience weaves together the theories of information seeking with the practice of user interface design. This definitive guide will enable you to:
- Understand how people search and how the concepts of information seeking, information foraging, and sensemaking underpin the search process.
- Apply the principles of user-centred design to the search box, search results, faceted navigation, mobile interfaces, social search, and much more.
- Design the cross-channel search experiences of tomorrow that span desktop, tablet, mobile, and other devices.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
SECTION 1: A FRAMEWORK FOR SEARCH & DISCOVERY
Chapter 1: The User
Chapter 2: Information Seeking
Chapter 3: Context
Chapter 4: Modes of Search & Discovery
SECTION II: DESIGN SOLUTIONS
Chapter 5: Formulating the Query
Chapter 6: Displaying and Manipulating Results
Chapter 7: Faceted Search
Chapter 8: Mobile Search
Chapter 9: Social Search
SECTION III: DESIGNING THE FUTURE
Chapter 10: Cross-Channel Information Interaction
“In Designing the Search Experience, Tony Russell-Rose and Tyler Tate provide a unique synthesis that integrates scholarly research and best practice into a compelling story about how we can make search better”. Peter Morville, author of Search Patterns: Design for Discovery
“This book is not only useful for people interested in search, but for all user experience and interface designers”. Ricardo Baeza-Yates, author of Modern Information Retrieval