Designing the Search Experience

Excerpt from the book

Mankind is an endless pursuer of knowledge. Philosophers and scientists through the millennia have gathered in libraries and universities to investigate the inner workings of our world; yet there is also a humbler, more pragmatic form of inquiry at work in every individual.

Whether planting vegetables, repairing a car, or building software, individuals regularly need access to information that they don't yet possess. We bridge this knowledge gap by asking those around us for advice, turning to books and encyclopedias, and, increasingly, searching the Internet. This journey between need and fulfillment is called information seeking.

We begin the chapter by exploring the evolution of information seeking from that of a system-oriented model at its inception, to today's user-centered perspective. We then examine two forces that mediate the information seeking process-information foraging and sensemaking-before climbing to higher ground and recasting information seeking as a long-term, multistage activity.

Read all of chapter 2 here

or back to UX Blog

Tony Russell-Rose

Tony Russell-Rose is director of UXLabs, a research and design consultancy specialising in complex search and information access applications. Before founding UXLabs he was Manager of User Experience at Endeca and editor of the Endeca UI Design Pattern Library, an online resource dedicated to best practice in the design of search and discovery experiences. Prior to this he was technical lead at Reuters, specialising in advanced user interfaces for information access and search. And before Reuters he was R&D group manager at Canon Research Centre Europe, where he led a team developing next generation information access products and services.

Tony is @tonygrr on Twitter, blogs at, and can be reached at tgr[AT]

Tyler Tate

Tyler Tate is the cofounder of Twigkit, a London-based software company that provides tools for rapidly building data-driven applications. At Twigkit he has helped numerous government, Fortune 500, and other large organizations achieve superb search experiences. Prior to specializing in search, Tyler led design at Nutshell CRM, designed an enterprise content management system, ran a small design studio, and taught a university course on web design.

He is @tylertate on Twitter, blogs at, and can be reached at tyler[at]