Search & Find-ability

Search and Find-ability refers to how well users can find information on the site, this includes both the use of any available search engine software and how results are displayed; and the use of breadcrumbs, a sitemap, quick links and drop down menus that allow users to find information in the manner that best suits them.

Key to the ability to finding information is the use of a good search engine which is supported by appropriately applied meta tags that drive relevant results. Search engines offer users an alternate means of accessing information not normally accessed on a day-to-day basis. Because of their vast reach, the best search engines require that a consistent taxonomy be used throughout the site. Find-ability tools like bread crumbs that allow users to see the path they have taken, sitemaps which show the hierarchical organization of content, quick links that provide fast ways to access popular or emphasized content, drop down menus that can provide quick access to information by role or task are just some of the ways to assist users in finding information.

In addition, an intuitive information architecture with a consistent layout allows people to quickly become familiar with a site and enables them to remember where they found information on previous visits. The information architecture of a site allows users to access the most important information in the shortest amount of time.

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