Small haystacks 20:14 on Friday

I’ve been battling with a hugely interesting project for the past week. Undisclosed project, undisclosed client — the life of a subcontractor…

needle in a haystack

Anyway. I guess one could call this an information architecture project. It involves a tool, consisting of less than a hundred printed pages, each having enough information to let you read it in two minutes. The task given to me was to make this tool “easier”. First, to make particular pages easier to find and second, to make the found pages easier to interpret.

My mind has been filled with findability and “glanceability” issues. The context I’ve seen “findability” referred to involves a search pool of unknown (and usually vast) size. The activity is to either:

  • find good enough results in the search pool (this is the user’s perspective), or
  • stand out in the search pool (this is the SEO perspective).

But what does findability mean when your pool comprises of only 100 options, the content itself is somewhat open to interpretation and you still need exact search results? Memory can play a part, so I’ve thought about findability vs. re-findability and visual clues to find stuff without actually concentrating on the content.

Still, it’s an intriguing problem to have and I’m sure I’ve only scratched the surface of possible solutions.

[tags]findability, ia, information architecture[/tags]

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