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"Gill, Kathy" <[log in to unmask]>
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Gill, Kathy
Thu, 28 Jan 1999 11:48:09 -0800
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Michael Fry wrote:
> To me, a failed search is more absolute than the uncertainty of getting
> lost or being unsuccessful with the navigation. It seems to say, "You used
> the most powerful tool at your disposal and still couldn't find it. What
> you're looking for must not exist." In my mind, it doesn't get any more
> discouraging than that. As a designer, therefore, I think my preference is
> to have users leave my site (or any site) believing that what they want
> *might* exist (if difficult to locate) rather than "It just doesn't
> exist."
And folks, there is more than one kind of Search! Here are two personal anecdotes from yesterday.

I went to SeaFirst Bank web site ( to try to find the closest branch to where I was going to lunch -- not ATM machine, but branch. I needed to see a teller FTF.

I found the "branch" section on the web site -- and there was a search form. So I typed in zip code of where I was -- and got back an error message telling me I needed to input the ADDRESS!

Hello -- Had I known the address, why would I be using their search?

Then I turned to online yellow pages.

USWEST directory ( allows you to search their yellow (or white) pages. However, even if you put in a suburb town -- the results include everything in the metro [Seattle] area. Thus, this tool sends folks away from the site.

My point -- although we were talking about what info to include on search results page -- if the search engine sucks, the visitor will leave.

OH -- third anecdote pointing out bad search tools -- I was unsuccessfully searching for info on Compaq's web site. Gave up and used Google. There, at the top of the results (using exact same keywords as on the Compaq site) were three pages from the Compaq web site.

Maybe it's good that they are selling AltaVista <g>.

> Kathy E. Gill
> DCAC/MRM Methods Communication -- 425.965.6901
> Continuous effort -- not strength or intelligence -- is the key to unlocking our potential. ~ Liane Cardes
> Microsoft Exchange: the perfect name for its users' greatest desire!