Tutorial: Optimising Your Content for Findability

This tutorial was done on the 6th of November at J. Boye 2012 conference in Aarhus Denmark. Tutorial was done by Kristian Norling.

Findability and Your Content

As the amount of content continues to increase, new approaches are required to provide good user experiences. Findability has been introduced as a new term among content strategists and information architects and is most easily explained as:

“A state where all information is findable and an approach to reaching that state.”

Search technology is readily used to make information findable, but as many have realized technology alone is unfortunately not enough. To achieve findability additional activities across several important dimensions such as business, user, information and organisation are needed.

Search engine optimisation is one aspect of findability and many of the principles from SEO works in a intranet or website search context. This is sometimes called Enterprise Search Engine Optimisation (ESEO). Getting findability to work well for your website or intranet is a difficult task, that needs continuos work. It requires stamina, persistence, endurance, patience and of course time and money (resources).

Tutorial Topics

In this tutorial you will take a deep dive into the many aspects of findability, with some good practices on how to improve findability:

  • Enterprise Search Engines vs Web Search
  • Governance
  • Organisation
  • User involvement
  • Optimise content for findability
  • Metadata
  • Search Analytics

Brief Outline

We will start some very brief theory and then use real examples and also talk about what organisations that are most satisfied with their findability do.

Experience level

Participants should have some intranet/website experience. A basic understanding of HTML, with some previous work with content management will make your tutorial experience even better. A bonus if you have done some Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for public websites.

Approaches for Building a Business Case for Enterprise Search

Approaches for Identifying Information Access Needs and to Build a Business Case for Enterprise Search and Findability

We have defined a number of alternative approaches to identify the need and value of search-driven findability to support an organisation or a specific process. In other words, different methods to build a business case for enterprise search in a specific organization or process.

Task oriented

Analysing information access needs in relation to specific work task within a business process (by utilizing e.g. the method developed by Byström/Strindberg or the Customer Carewords method).

Process oriented

Mapping the process flow of sequential and dependent (value-adding) activities and the related information access needs, Analysing the dependencies/accessibility of information systems in the different activities (e.g. by using some kind of Business Process Modeling, like the Astrakan-method).

Decision oriented

Identifying and analysing the decision points and the related information access needs within a process.

Risk oriented

Analysing situations within a process or for decision points where the right information was not available. Or even worse if there only was old and unvalid information available? What would have been the outcome of the situation if the desired/needed information had been available? How can we avoid for this scenario to be repeated? Inspired by Lynda Moulton at LWM Technology Services and Martin White of IntranetFocus.

Effect oriented

Determine the desired effects from search-driven findability and define measuring point to follow up the effects over time. Includes also identification of the related target groups/personas and their information access needs to be fulfilled for the effects to be reached (based on the InUse method and previous work at Ericsson (Case Study) and Forsmark (Case Study). An enhanced variant of this method is currently being developed in a project at Chalmers.

Our ambition is to use these methods to help organisations identify information access needs and findability barriers and to help motivate search investments. The analysis could for example be performed by our Findability Business Consultants as part of an in-depth findability review focusing on either an existing application or a specific business process.

Presentation: The Why and How of Findability

“The Why and How of Findability” presented by Kristian Norling at the ScanJour Kundeseminar in Copenhagen, 6 September 2012. We can make information findable with good metadata. The metadata makes it possible to create browsable, structured and highly findable information. We can make findability (and enterprise search) better by looking at findability in five different dimensions.

Five dimensions of Findability

1. BUSINESS – Build solutions to support your business processes and goals

2. INFORMATION – Prepare information to make it findable

3. USERS – Build usable solutions based on user needs

4. ORGANISATION – Govern and improve your solution over time

5. SEARCH TECHNOLOGY – Build solutions based on state-of-the-art search technology