SIGIA-L Mail Archives: RE: [Sigia-l] People thinking like compu
RE: [Sigia-l] People thinking like computers (was ROI/Value of Search Engine...)
From: Boniface Lau (boniface_lau_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Sun Feb 09 2003 - 20:44:01 EST
> From: sigia-l-admin_at_asis.org [mailto:sigia-l-admin_at_asis.org]On
> Behalf Of Christopher Fahey [askrom]
> Let's take Jared's first example:
> > (1) A user, looking for "a low-cost, yet reliable laptop computer
> > that will last 4 years for his son who is going away to school"
> > typed "laptops" into Amazon's search and receives 210 results, for
> > which he has no way of discerning if any of these computers match
> > his criteria.
> I'll confess that my first reaction to this was to roll my eyes at
> this person's deep misunderstanding of how search engines work. But
> then I wondered: why exactly did this person type in "laptops"
> instead of something more specific like "low cost reliable laptops"
May be because the user recognized that "low cost reliable" are
terms too vague to use?
> or even "I am looking for a low-cost, yet reliable laptop computer
> that will last 4 years for my son who is going away to school"?
I would expect the above query from people who have very little
exposure to computers.
> I mean, s/he wouldn't walk up to a salesperson at CompUSA and simply
> say "laptops" and expect to find a useful recommendation either.
Wait a minute... you expect web users to interact with a web page like
they would with a salesperson?
> Why did this person only type one word?
Probably because the user had heard that search engines work on
> The fact that this user just doesn't know the right way to use a
> search engine
Entering "laptops" is the wrong way to use a search engine to search
Mind you, most of today's search engines are keyword-based. Thus,
entering keywords is the common sense way to use a search engine
unless indicated otherwise by the search engine documentation.
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