Thursday, March 27, 2008

Findability, Orphan of the Web Design Industry

The importance of findability ...

"Once upon a time in a web design agency, there lived a sad little boy named Findability. He was a very good boy with a big heart for helping people…

* find the websites they seek,
* find content within websites, and
* rediscover valuable content they’d found.

He used his arsenal of talent for planning, writing, coding, and analysis to create websites that could connect with a target audience.

Although Findability had a closely knit family, he felt like an orphan, because his siblings always seemed to get the lion’s share of time and attention from the folks in the web design agency. Everyone fawned over the curly-haired, rosy-cheeked twins Information Architecture and Usability who put everything in its place with a label that all would understand. Project Management garnered everyone’s respect for his deft communication, confident leadership, and his well-pressed, khaki trousers. Although Development was a little nerdy and shy, everyone admired his brilliance—from which he created an artificially intelligent search algorithm in just two lines of code. Super-hip Design was the cutest of them all. He seemed to win top accolades all by himself whether his siblings joined him on a project or not.

Everyone seemed to have their place in the project life-cycle at the web design agency; everyone but little Findability. Occasionally someone would notice his value to a project, but instead of giving him the care he deserved, they’d just fork over copious amounts of cash to ship him off to his sketchy uncle SEO, who tied him up and fed him keywords all day long. He spent so much time at uncle SEO’s that everyone started to think Findability was SEO, and subsequently became a little dubious of his importance.

Although Findability felt ignored or misunderstood, he knew that if he was given a chance, he could ensure that the brilliant work of his talented siblings reached their target audience. If only he were appreciated as much as the others, he could alleviate much of the everyday frustration that so many users experience when searching for information to solve their problems and satiate their curiosities.

But what could poor Findability do to be brought into the fold, to be loved and appreciated as much as his siblings? He just needed an advocate at the web design agency to promote his virtues.

That, dear reader, is where you come in. For the unfortunate moral to this sad little story is that we are the ones missing out by not making Findability a priority in what we do. There’s much to gain if only we recognize its value."    (Continued via A List Apart)    [Usability Resources]

Findability - Usability, User Interface Design

Findability

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