Search Patterns by Peter Moreville and Jeffrey Callender should be on your must read list. Their “Mapmaker’s Manifesto” will give you an idea of why I like the book:
- Search is a problem too big to ignore.
- Browsing doesn’t scale, even on an IPhone.
- Size matters. Linear growth compels a step change in design.
- Simple, fast, and relevant are table stakes.
- One size won’t fit all. Search must adapt to context.
- Search in iterative, social, and multisensory.
- Increments aren’t enough. Even Google must innovate or die.
- It’s not just about findability. It’s not just about the Web.
- The challenge is radically multidisciplinary.
- We must engage engineers and executives in design.
- We can learn from the past. Library science is still relevant.
- We can learn from behavior. Interaction design affords actionable results.
- We can learn from one user. Analytics is enriched by ethnography.
- Some patterns, we should study and reuse.
- Some patterns, we should break like a bad habit.
- Search is a complex adaptive system.
- Emergence, cocreation, and self-organization are in play.
- To discover the seeds of change, go outside.
- In science, fiction, and search, the map invents the territory.
- The future isn’t just unwritten—it’s unsearched.
I also like Search Patterns because the authors’ concede there are vast unknowns as opposed to saying: “If you just use our (insert paradigm/syntax/ontology/language) then all those nasty problems go away.”
I think we need to accept their invitation to face the vast unknowns head on.