SIGIA-L Mail Archives: RE: SIGIA-L: Measuring IA - search metho
RE: SIGIA-L: Measuring IA - search methods
From: Noel Franus (noel_at_carboniq.com)
Date: Wed May 17 2000 - 13:01:08 EDT
Although I think the site itself has its own share of structural
problems, Ask Jeeves does a good job of displaying _how_ a search can
be interpreted by providing a number of different results for the
same "question." Which seems to be at the root of this issue.
It's a good starting point for newbies, but I'm not a fan of how it
encourages a dependency on its results. Try weaning someone off
something that has a perceived set of "all the answers"... not easy.
The construct of those answers is nice, but the specifics of the
individual search results seem weak and marketing-heavy.
Delivery method = works! Specifics = lacking. Still, a good
first-check on the net for newbies who don't know what their "is" is.
At 9:05 AM -0700 5.17.00, Staci Martin wrote:
>this statement, in particular, sums up the problem with searches nicely for
> >Do people really understand that when they do a search on, e.g.
> > World War II,
> > they are only searching for *three random words* instead of searching
> > *concept* of WWII?
>i don't think they do. unless they are 'seasoned' researches, the average
>'web searcher' on yahoo may not understand that "World War II" is a
>three-part search, one with three separate words. i myself, often go
>straight to yahoo and type in a sentence and cross my fingers that one of
>the words will find a match that fits what i am really looking for. this is
>no way to effectively search for anything online. (i know, and i am
>some of this may be do to the fact that i (and many others) have stepped
>of the library, and into a completely different, and completely chaotic
>world of endless information. i often forget what i learned about
>researching in a library... i attack the internet without any regard to the
>structure in which the information is organized.
>perhaps more user education would do the trick??? :)
>From: James Weinheimer [mailto:jamesw_at_princeton.edu]
>Sent: Wednesday, May 17, 2000 5:56 AM
>To: Louis Rosenfeld
>Subject: Re: SIGIA-L: Measuring IA
>Louis Rosenfeld wrote:
> > Alternatively, we can measure user satisfaction. But this is not the
> > thing as measuring whether or not users find what they are looking for.
> > knowing any better, a user might express satisfaction with the
> > incomplete information that a system provides. Ignorance is bliss, but
> > blissful users don't necessarily indicate a successful information
> > architecture.
>This is the key point when using a marketing goal (user satisfaction) for
>purposes where it just doesn't apply.
>Here is a real-word example in present bibliography. Someone may want items
>World War II, so they search for the keywords:
>World War II.
>They will get a lot of records. (In Princeton's catalog, 2417 hits). This
>more than they can handle.
>Now the question is: Is the searcher happy?
>Perhaps, but that doesn't end the argument. If the searcher made the
>search in the standard bibliographies:
>World War, 1939-1945
>s/he would get many, many more hits. (In Princeton's catalog, tens of
>The question changes to: Is the searcher still happy with the first search?
>One way of looking at this is: if searchers are to remain happy with the
>search, then they cannot know about the second possibility.
>Do people really understand that when they do a search on, e.g. World War
>they are only searching for *three random words* instead of searching the
>*concept* of WWII? Fuzzy searching can help, but still has a lot of holes.
>So, I think Lou is right on target. User satisfaction is nice, but in the
>is practically irrelevant for the measurement of IA.
> Jim Weinheimer
> Princeton University
Carbon IQ user experience group
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: Sun Nov 23 2003 - 22:54:19 EST