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Tony Russell-Rose is director of UXLabs, a UX research and design consultancy specializing in complex search and information access applications. Previously Tony has led R&D teams at Canon, Reuters, HP Labs and BT Labs, and seems happy to work for pretty much any organization that has 'Labs' in the title. He has a PhD in Artificial Intelligence and is author of Designing the Search Experience (Morgan Kaufmann, 2012). Tony is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 28 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Search that Sucks

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failOkay, I know it’s a bit of a provocative (and frivolous) title, but it was either that or “Anti-patterns for Search,” which is somewhat less transparent… Anyway, the point is that although this blog focuses on sharing best practices for search usability and user-centered design in general, we sometimes learn more by studying examples of the opposite, i.e. poor practice. The thing about UX design is that when executed well it fades into the background, letting us get on with the task at hand and not worry about the machinery of the interaction. It isn’t until we encounter flawed design that we are jolted out of our flow and forced to make choices that don’t seem to fit with either our expectations or the natural course of our activity.

So to that end, I am seeking examples of flawed design in the world of search. Have you any stories you’d like to share? Any examples of ‘search that sucks’? I can certainly think of a few which would make good subject matter. But before climbing on my own soapbox, I’d like to hear what other have to say.

If it’s something you’re happy to share publicly, feel free to post it here. If it’s a little more sensitive, just send me an email and I’ll make sure your confidentiality is maintained.

If I get enough replies I’ll post a summary here, along with any design insights and lessons learned.

Published at DZone with permission of Tony Russell-rose, author and DZone MVB. (source)

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