Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Beyond Google I've been busy, crazy busy over the last week. And the next two weeks look worse. Along the way I learned how to use Thunderbird, and good it is too (once you stop it looking so f-ugly). And in a rare quiet moment, I read Jacob Neilsen's latest AlertBox, Converting Search into Navigation:
Users are incredibly bad at finding and researching things on the web. A few years ago, I characterized users' research skills as "incompetent," and they’ve only gotten worse over time. "Pathetic" and "useless" are words that come to mind after this year's user testing.

This struck a chord, as only yesterday I failed to find the file I needed on the dreaded School VLE admin site, earning myself a withering email response when I asked for help. Is there any possibility of designing an effective support site where staff can find the content they want? I'm not holding my breath, as we've been discussing this for the past five years without making any obvious progress (despite redesigns). I've given up on the Uni website and simple use a Google CSE, but that strategy doesn't work with the locked down content on Blackboard. Sigh.

Ah Google, how you've spoiled us with your free reader and your intelligent search. How we'll miss you when you're gone.

1 comment:

  1. "earning myself a withering email response when I asked for help."

    There *is* a technology for dealing with nasty service workers. In political terms it's called "leaving to spend more time with my family".