What Web Users Hate Part 1: Search and Browse
Sandra Rossi has written an article for Computer World that is posted in InfoWorld, "What Users Hate About Websites" She is sharing what she learned from interviewing Theresa Cunnington from iFocus.
Several of these are relevant for web services offered by libraries and knowledge management intranet/portal sites. I am leaving her numbering.
2. Re-inventing the wheel: people do not want to have to learn how to use a site before they can browse it, Cunnington said.
This is a BIG issue with many systems. I know that most OPACS I've seen present this issue. In fact this is probably one reason OPACS Suck. Users also have to learn the system just to search it. Similarly, enterprise intranet and portal interfaces out of the box are often not intuitive enough. I know that we have to train our users to search our portal. This just should not be the case. As I keep saying to my co-workers, users should not need to learn the system!
In our case, if a user wants to limit the search to a particular section, they must use the drop down next to the banner search box and select "search this folder". However, I don't think many realize that the dropdown is available until we point it out. Many of our users would prefer this option, so I have suggested that we change dropdown listing so that "search this folder" is the default. However, this requires quite a bit of programming! Users do not like using advanced search. While we can reasonably expect "power users" to need to learn to use such advanced tools — our call center employees should not need to do so.