Wednesday, December 19, 2007

SERP: user selection of results

Q: How will the users choose among the search results?

Jakob Nielsen: From the user perspective … the top one [result] is going to be the one that ... they ..will judge to be the best and that’s what people will tend to click first, and then the second one and so on. That behavior will stay the same, and the appearance will be the same, but the sorting might be different. That I think is actually very likely to happen.

Interview with Jakob Nielsen: Future of the SERP

A shame, but true. Very few people go through the search engine results scanning for other titles. Look at users browsing through music stores or book stores. They are quite willing to keep looking past the first few titles. There is not the same engagement in web searching. What is the reason for that? Is it the tactile sensation of picking up a CD or book? And how is that going to change when all music is downloaded from the web and book go the way of vinyl?

How do we bring that tactile response, that love to accumulate and touch to the web screen? I wonder how much using a mouse instead of a touch screen changes things? And to what extent are we impeded by the low resolution screens? Higher resolution screens would allow us to put a lot more secondary information on a screen, perhaps enticing users to keep searching – because the search would be much more interesting than simply reading a few characters of text.

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