Searh vs. browse from an IxD perspective

2 Jul 2004 - 8:09am
10 years ago
18 replies
1033 reads
Dave Malouf
2005

http://www.wired.com/news/mac/0,2125,64069,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_4

the above article is about Steve Jobs' ascertion that browse/sort is old hat
and the future is search.

I'd like to get other people's thoughts on this.

I do think that sorting might be old hat, but there are other forms of
browse, or maybe I'm limiting my definition of search a bit.

What comes to mind for me is that I like GMail's labels, but I seldom
search. I browse based on those labels.
Another example is the 40GB of music I have. I seldom search ... I browse. I
do sort my lists by album and artist, but I seldom use the text field to
enter data, click a button and hope for a sub-set of info.

Search comes up a lot in what I do as someone who has been working in ECM
for a long time now, so I'm curious as to what other people think about the
IxD implications on this subject.

-- dave

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Comments

2 Jul 2004 - 8:23am
Dan Brown
2004

I haven't read the Jobs article, but I have to believe that neither
one of these paradigms is going away any time soon. Searching is good
for some things and browsing is good for others, even within the same
application. In Gmail, if I want to look through all the posts on this
mailing list, I can click a label. If I want to find all the email
from my friend James, I search on his name.

Opinion may vary wildly on this next idea: humans are natural
categorizers. To suggest that we will no longer want to browse
information on our computers implies that humans have reached a stage
of evolution where they no longer rely on categorization.

-- Dan

----- Original Message -----
From: David Heller <dave at interactiondesigners.com>
Date: Fri, 2 Jul 2004 09:09:28 -0400
Subject: [ID Discuss] Searh vs. browse from an IxD perspective
To: Interaction Designers <discuss at interactiondesigners.com>

http://www.wired.com/news/mac/0,2125,64069,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_4

the above article is about Steve Jobs' ascertion that browse/sort is
old hat and the future is search.

I'd like to get other people's thoughts on this.

I do think that sorting might be old hat, but there are other forms of
browse, or maybe I'm limiting my definition of search a bit.

What comes to mind for me is that I like GMail's labels, but I seldom
search. I browse based on those labels.
Another example is the 40GB of music I have. I seldom search ... I
browse. I do sort my lists by album and artist, but I seldom use the
text field to enter data, click a button and hope for a sub-set of
info.

Search comes up a lot in what I do as someone who has been working in
ECM for a long time now, so I'm curious as to what other people think
about the IxD implications on this subject.

-- dave

noname - 1K Download

--
Dan Brown ~ brownorama at gmail.com ~ (301) 801-4850

It's a sad day for America when even paranoid schizophrenics no longer
feel the need to wear their little aluminum foil hats.
-- Ed Helms, The Daily Show

the only thing that will save our democratic capitalism from itself is
a new labor movement. the plutocratic path down which we are heading
is eviscerating the middle class. that is simply not sustainable.
-- EC, personal correspondance

2 Jul 2004 - 12:18pm
Dan Saffer
2003

In the simplest terms, browsing and searching are just two tasks to
accomplish the same goal: finding something. But nuance is everything.
With browsing, you may or may not know what you are looking for, or you
are much less specific about what you are looking for. Searching is a
lot more targeted, because the user has to at a minimum specify in some
terms (language or numbers) what it is they are looking for. And that
initial step shouldn't be trivialized. Sometimes you don't have the
domain knowledge required to have the correct nomenclature.

I'm sure our information architect colleagues have a lot to say about
this.

Respectfully to Mr. Jobs, I can't see browsing going away any time
soon. Browsing is as much about finding specific things as it is about
revealing what is there, showing relationships. Browsing is really a
way of interacting with the content or features of something. This is
where we come in, especially in HOW something can be browsed (or
searched) and how the results of that browsing manifest themselves. The
Map of the Market

http://www.smartmoney.com/marketmap/

is a way of browsing the stock market. The Newsmap

http://www.marumushi.com/apps/newsmap/newsmap.cfm

is a way of browsing the news. Browsing shows some sort of context,
even just by showing the other contents of a file folder, in a way that
search simply doesn't.

Dan

Dan Saffer
M.Des. Candidate, Interaction Design
Carnegie Mellon University
http://www.odannyboy.com

2 Jul 2004 - 8:52am
MANTRANT Mathieu
2004

Hello to all,
I like searching and i like browsing. It all depends on my mood or my haste.

I may search when i have a clear idea of what i'm looking for, but then, i may want to browse and pick up things or ideas i didn't think off on other occasions.
Restricting it to search, i believe would limit one's curiosity.
Think also about happy accidents when you look for something and find something else more relevant.

Steve Job's idea is a bit narrow, and it looks more like he's trying to sell us something rather than foreseeing the changes to come.

As it is said in french "When you want to get rid of your dog, you say it's got rabbies".

Mathieu Mantrant O'Dowd

-----Message d'origine-----
De :
discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesign
ers.com]De la part de Dan Brown
Envoyé : vendredi 2 juillet 2004 15:23
À : Interaction Designers
Objet : Re: [ID Discuss] Searh vs. browse from an IxD perspective

I haven't read the Jobs article, but I have to believe that neither
one of these paradigms is going away any time soon. Searching is good
for some things and browsing is good for others, even within the same
application. In Gmail, if I want to look through all the posts on this
mailing list, I can click a label. If I want to find all the email
from my friend James, I search on his name.

Opinion may vary wildly on this next idea: humans are natural
categorizers. To suggest that we will no longer want to browse
information on our computers implies that humans have reached a stage
of evolution where they no longer rely on categorization.

-- Dan

----- Original Message -----
From: David Heller <dave at interactiondesigners.com>
Date: Fri, 2 Jul 2004 09:09:28 -0400
Subject: [ID Discuss] Searh vs. browse from an IxD perspective
To: Interaction Designers <discuss at interactiondesigners.com>

http://www.wired.com/news/mac/0,2125,64069,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_4

the above article is about Steve Jobs' ascertion that browse/sort is
old hat and the future is search.

I'd like to get other people's thoughts on this.

I do think that sorting might be old hat, but there are other forms of
browse, or maybe I'm limiting my definition of search a bit.

What comes to mind for me is that I like GMail's labels, but I seldom
search. I browse based on those labels.
Another example is the 40GB of music I have. I seldom search ... I
browse. I do sort my lists by album and artist, but I seldom use the
text field to enter data, click a button and hope for a sub-set of
info.

Search comes up a lot in what I do as someone who has been working in
ECM for a long time now, so I'm curious as to what other people think
about the IxD implications on this subject.

-- dave

noname - 1K Download

--
Dan Brown ~ brownorama at gmail.com ~ (301) 801-4850

It's a sad day for America when even paranoid schizophrenics no longer
feel the need to wear their little aluminum foil hats.
-- Ed Helms, The Daily Show

the only thing that will save our democratic capitalism from itself is
a new labor movement. the plutocratic path down which we are heading
is eviscerating the middle class. that is simply not sustainable.
-- EC, personal correspondance
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2 Jul 2004 - 5:12pm
Peter Merholz
2004

On Jul 2, 2004, at 10:18 AM, Dan Saffer wrote:

> In the simplest terms, browsing and searching are just two tasks to
> accomplish the same goal: finding something.

That's a little oversimplified.

I would argue that this is likely true of search. You have an idea of
what you want to find, and search can lead you directly to it.

Browse, on the other hand, can meet a variety of tasks. Finding
something is one of them. But a good browsing structure will also make
you more aware of what is available to you that you might not have
previously considered. Or can help you understanding something broader.
For me, I imagine when I was in school, and I would research a subject
for class. My "known item searching" (finding some particular book) was
never as valuable as finding the area in the stacks related to my
subject of interesting, and browsing the offerings there. (and getting
a crick in my neck in the process).

I think it's a funny statement, coming from Jobs, since the iPod and
iTunes are largely predicated on what I would call a browse model (a
faceted browse model). This is where the distinctions between search
and browse start getting blurry.

For folks interested in pursuing this further, I recommend checking out
Endeca:
http://endeca.com/

Their products combine search with faceted browse, showing how they can
all work together.

--peter

2 Jul 2004 - 5:23pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Jul 2, 2004, at 3:12 PM, Peter Merholz wrote:

> Browse, on the other hand, can meet a variety of tasks. Finding
> something is one of them. But a good browsing structure will also make
> you more aware of what is available to you that you might not have
> previously considered. Or can help you understanding something
> broader.

Not sure how much of Longhorn has been made public in some demos... but
the combined search/browsing interface for it -- where a breadcrumb
like interface is used to quickly trim away the "file system" and where
the browsing portion really acts in a way to add more items to the
breadcrumb list -- is one of the best models I've seen in quite some
time. Even better than the Tiger Spotlight approach Apple demoed. The
Longhorn UI combines the best part of "browsing" a hard drive using an
approach people are familiar with today, while adding a very powerful
way to add "search" terms to weed the results down quickly.

> For folks interested in pursuing this further, I recommend checking
> out Endeca:
> http://endeca.com/

The thinking in their demos looks very close to Longhorn. Except in
Longhorn, the presenation is more fluid, dynamic and robust. The
metadata is also user determined, not parsed by the system. How much of
it appears in Longhorn is yet to be seen.

Andrei

2 Jul 2004 - 8:17pm
pabini
2004

Hi All

About the article Dave mentioned:

http://www.wired.com/news/mac/0,2125,64069,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_4

Interesting article. Jobs seems to be implying that people are incapable of organizing the content on their hard disks, then finding it later by browsing, so thinks why should they bother organizing it at all.

I do have massive amounts of information on my hard disks, but rarely have trouble finding things. On those rare occasions, I do use search, but on Windows, the process of searching is so slow and there are so many useless results that seaching is cumbersome. And I can't set up default settings for search, so have to change the same settings over and over. Often, I'll go back to browsing while the search churns away and find what I want before the search is complete.

I'm glad to hear that both Apple and Microsoft are making efforts to improve their search functionality. They have a long way to go from where they are to create anything usable. Spotlight sounds like a big improvement, but I'm not about to give up organizing things in folders.

For example, to satisfy me, automatic sorting or searching of incoming email messages would have to sort by sender or a group that I'd previously defined to include the sender AND sort by which messages were actually of interest to me AND by whether I'd read them (not just opened, read) AND by whether I'd responded to them or needed to do so.

Jobs said, "It's easier to find something from among a billion Web pages with Google than it is to find something on your hard disk."

I heartily disagree. Web search is a problem that really needs solving. The results that I get from Google or other Web search engines or on Amazon seem to be increasingly turning up a lot of garbage that isn't remotely connected with what I want.

For example, if I type in an acronym that means various things depending on context, I'd like my search engine to ask me which interpretation of the acronym I'm interested in before it searches.

The browsing capability on Amazon is pathetic. So, I always search there. However, if I'm looking for books on style guides, for example, I don't want to see every book title that contains either of these words. At the very least, I'd like to see titles that contain this string first, not intermixed with other titles that don't. What I really want Amazon to do is to use all of the book categories and metadata that they've created for their recommendations functionality for their search and browse functionality, so I'd get only close matches, not tens of thousands of things that don't really match what I want.

I've used the Endeca browsing functionality on BarnesandNoble.com. It's very nice, but its search capability is lousy. In Longhorn, is Microsoft out to eat the lunch of another smaller company that's doing good, innovative work? I hope Endeca has good patents. (More software companies, more work for us all.)

What I'd really like in all of these contexts is the capability of seeing a list of similar files, messages, or books, just as I can when I use Google. Amazon does something like this with its recommendations, but I'd like to be able to control this capability myself as well.

Searching for known items is one thing, but browsing is one's only course when seeking unknown items for which one doesn't know the correct vocabulary. And there's nothing like the serendipity of browsing for finding treasures on the Web that someone else has found before you.

According to the list at: http://www.apple.com.au/macosx/tiger/searchtechnology.html,
there's a glaring omission in the types of files for which Spotlight can glean metadata--HTML. However, Spotlight can use my folder labels and hierarchy as metadata when searching. Many of the applications I use don't support the definition of metadata, so it's going to need me to do that sorting. (Kudos for its supporting this.) One of the most unmanageable tasks right now is organizing and finding Web bookmarks.

Bottom line... We need all three capabilities--searching, sorting, and browsing--but we need all of them to be well designed. Right now, they're not, so I'm all for any progress on these fronts. In the end, I think it's up to us to solve these problems.

Pabini
________________________________________

Pabini Gabriel-Petit
Principal & User Experience Architect
Spirit Softworks
www.spiritsoftworks.com
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2 Jul 2004 - 10:13pm
Todd Warfel
2003

Incapable, or perhaps they shouldn't bear the burden of it?

Think about this - if we hadn't been trained to organize things based
on a folder/file structure like the current environments limit/train us
to do, would that be how we find things?

On Jul 2, 2004, at 9:17 PM, Pabini Gabriel-Petit wrote:

> Interesting article. Jobs seems to be implying that people are
> incapable of organizing the content on their hard disks, then finding
> it later by browsing, so thinks why should they bother organizing it
> at all.

Cheers!

Todd R. Warfel
User Experience Architect
MessageFirst | making products easier to use
--------------------------------------
Contact Info
voice: (607) 339-9640
email: twarfel at messagefirst.com
web: www.messagefirst.com
aim: twarfel at mac.com
--------------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

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2 Jul 2004 - 11:18pm
Todd Warfel
2003

Yes, this is something we study while doing ethnography. However, if we
have newer, better options available to us beyond files/folders for
finding things, then perhaps files and folders eventually go by the
wayside... CDs have replaced vinyl. Post-its replaced slips of torn
paper.

I'd suggest that finding info can be separated from organizing info.
Two separate tasks, while interdependent.

On Jul 3, 2004, at 12:19 AM, Pabini Gabriel-Petit wrote:

> Before I ever used a computer, I was already organizing things in
> drawers, shelves, notebooks, card files, file folders, etc. For anyone
> who likes to organize things in the real world, it's natural that
> they'd want to do the same on a computer. It's a question of user
> control over how things are organized. That's how this whole metaphor
> thing got started in the first place. ;-)

Cheers!

Todd R. Warfel
User Experience Architect
MessageFirst | making products easier to use
--------------------------------------
Contact Info
voice: (607) 339-9640
email: twarfel at messagefirst.com
web: www.messagefirst.com
aim: twarfel at mac.com
--------------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

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3 Jul 2004 - 1:15am
pabini
2004

Todd Warfel wrote: If we have newer, better options available to us beyond files/folders for finding things, then perhaps files and folders eventually go by the wayside...

***[PGP] If anyone ever comes up with a better option, I'll be the first to applaud it. It hasn't happened yet though. Have you ever seen any design proposed that you think would be better?

I'd suggest that finding info can be separated from organizing info. Two separate tasks, while interdependent.

***[PGP] Absolutely, they can be viewed as separate tasks, but one facilitates the other. When organizing information, first you have to find a good place for it. When looking for information, the organization you created helps you to find it.

Cheers, Pabini
________________________________________

Pabini Gabriel-Petit
Principal & User Experience Architect
Spirit Softworks
www.spiritsoftworks.com
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3 Jul 2004 - 7:46am
Josh Seiden
2003

Dave,

I don't read this as a question of search vs. browse.
Instead, I see Jobs recognizing the need to separate
the storage model from the retrieval model. As Karger
noted in the article, this is way past due.

For an interesting discussion of storage vs. retrieval,
see:
http://www.cooper.com/articles/art_digital_soup.htm

Note that Apple was working on this as far back as
Copeland (95? 96?). I saw demos then of dynamic
folders, and other non-location-based retrieval idioms
in the Finder. It seems that Longhorn has simply
spurred them to revive these ideas.

JS

-----Original Message-----
From:
discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interact
iondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.
interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of David Heller
Sent: Friday, July 02, 2004 9:09 AM
To: 'Interaction Designers'
Subject: [ID Discuss] Searh vs. browse from an IxD
perspective

http://www.wired.com/news/mac/0,2125,64069,00.html?tw=w
n_tophead_4

the above article is about Steve Jobs' ascertion that
browse/sort is old hat and the future is search.

I'd like to get other people's thoughts on this.

I do think that sorting might be old hat, but there are
other forms of browse, or maybe I'm limiting my
definition of search a bit.

What comes to mind for me is that I like GMail's
labels, but I seldom search. I browse based on those
labels.
Another example is the 40GB of music I have. I seldom
search ... I browse. I do sort my lists by album and
artist, but I seldom use the text field to enter data,
click a button and hope for a sub-set of info.

Search comes up a lot in what I do as someone who has
been working in ECM for a long time now, so I'm curious
as to what other people think about the IxD
implications on this subject.

-- dave

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4 Jul 2004 - 5:19pm
Alain D. M. G. ...
2003

Yes, I have seen several proposed designd which would be better for
browsing, and they are all variations of ZUIs or Zooming User
Interfaces. Some of them even integrate (in different ways depending
on the prototype) certain aspects of the current files/folder/windows
arrangments . Others are radically different.

All are still at the prototype stage and far from suitable for general
desktop use, even when they have been worked on for more than a decade,
like Hollan and Bederson's Pad ++ or when they are the fruit of a
genial and intense individual, like Jef Raskin's THE project.

--- Pabini Gabriel-Petit <pabini at earthlink.net> a écrit : > Todd Warfel
wrote: If we have newer, better options available to us
> beyond files/folders for finding things, then perhaps files and
> folders eventually go by the wayside...
>
> ***[PGP] If anyone ever comes up with a better option, I'll be the
> first to applaud it. It hasn't happened yet though. Have you ever
> seen any design proposed that you think would be better?
>

Alain Vaillancourt

ndgmtlcd at yahoo.com

__________________________________________________________
Lèche-vitrine ou lèche-écran ?
magasinage.yahoo.ca

5 Jul 2004 - 1:11am
Rick Cecil
2004

For browsing, sorting, and searching documents on my hard-drive, I have
found Macro Pool's ContentSaver to be a miracle-worker.

http://www.macropool.de/en/index.html

It basically stores files in a database and allows you to organize documents
(HTMl, PDF, PPT, DOC, XLS, etc.) according to categories as well as an
internal (to the app) file structure.

Having used it for the past two weeks, I've found that I no longer care for
file structures. The OS file/folder system seems weak and under-powered. I
might have saved documents in the past (an interesting IxD article, for
example) and forget where I put it--or that I had even put it somewhere.

By allowing me to assign multiple categories to a document, ContentSaver
enables me to create my own faceted search system. Really powerful. So, the
next time I go looking for IxD articles, there's the one I save, sitting
there, waiting for me.

I would convert to Mac OS X if they integrated this functionality into their
OS--and I've been a die-hard Windows geek since early DOS. Hell, I'd
consider converting to Linux if this was part of the core system.

If you're on Windows, give the application a shot. It's certainly made my
life a lot easier. And while categorization is one of the biggest selling
points (IMO) there are several other powerful features tucked in there, too.

Damn, I really need to get an endorsment contract from Macro Pool.

-Rick

-----Original Message-----
From:
discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.
com]On Behalf Of Pabini Gabriel-Petit
Sent: Saturday, July 03, 2004 2:16 AM
To: Todd R. Warfel; Interaction Designers
Subject: Re: [ID Discuss] Searh vs. browse from an IxD perspective

Todd Warfel wrote: If we have newer, better options available to us beyond
files/folders for finding things, then perhaps files and folders eventually
go by the wayside...

***[PGP] If anyone ever comes up with a better option, I'll be the first
to applaud it. It hasn't happened yet though. Have you ever seen any design
proposed that you think would be better?

I'd suggest that finding info can be separated from organizing info. Two
separate tasks, while interdependent.

***[PGP] Absolutely, they can be viewed as separate tasks, but one
facilitates the other. When organizing information, first you have to find a
good place for it. When looking for information, the organization you
created helps you to find it.

Cheers, Pabini
________________________________________

Pabini Gabriel-Petit
Principal & User Experience Architect
Spirit Softworks
www.spiritsoftworks.com
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5 Jul 2004 - 5:36am
pabini
2004

Hi Rick

ContentSaver sounds like a good, useful product. Thanks for your recommendation. It doesn't sound like a particularly revolutionary product, but it does sound like a significant improvement over the way things work now. I'll have to give it a try. :-) Does it allow you to save Web pages that you'd otherwise be unable to save--like content off the UPA site, for example, or an Adaptive Path article?

For the life of me, I can't understand why anyone would want to obstruct someone's saving a Web page to a hard disk--especially when they're trying to get you to join their organization or buy their services or products--but some do. Isn't the whole point to get potential customers to keep something that will remind them of your organization or business. Otherwise, why spend all that information on business cards, fliers, ads, etc. Also, it seems a little silly, considering all one usually has to do is open one's Temporary Internet Files folder and copy the file to another folder.

Pabini

Rick Cecil wrote:
For browsing, sorting, and searching documents on my hard-drive, I have found Macro Pool's ContentSaver to be a miracle-worker.

http://www.macropool.de/en/index.html
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5 Jul 2004 - 9:38am
Rick Cecil
2004

Pabini,

You're right, the idea of categorization itself is not revolutionary. As a
user, thought, it certainly feels revolutionary. ;-)

What the program does is fairly simple, but what it enables me, the a user,
to do, is revolutionary. Maybe you (and other on the list) won't have such a
strong reaction when you use it, but I have been able to classify and
find--with relative ease--almost 350MB of research (about 700 files) that I
have been gathering over the past two years.

IOW, if you compare the amount of time I spent on information retrieval over
the past two weeks with the amount of time I spent over the past two years,
the product is revolutionary. (Of course, I realize, it could have been
something I was doing wrong over the past few years and maybe other folks
have better organization and retrieval skills. ;-)

I attribute this to being able to think about the "what" of the content, not
the "where"; and it's not just one "what" it's multiple "whats"--that is, I
can categorize my research using facets and can retrieve it using a faceted
browse/search. For example, I'm not restricted to putting an article into my
e-commerce folder even though, I would like to put it in my e-commerce,
usability, and interview folders. I guess I could put shortcuts in the other
folders, but that is time consuming--and I never did it.

I compare my pleasure (and it is sheer pleasure--there are bumps, but
nothing I can't get over...) of using this product to someone who has been
using a site for years because they need the information on it. The site is
frustrating to use and the person always has a hard time finding what they
need, but this site is the only place where they can find what they need.
Then, one day, they visit the site to find it has been redesigned and
everything they need--as well as more information they didn't realize was
there--is at their fingertips. So, the actual redesign itself is not
revolutionary, but the fact that the person can now retrieve all the
information she wants when she wants it is revolutionary.

As for saving content from the Web, it is super-easy. They have a toolbar
that integrates with IE5.5+ (you can also install one that will integrate
into Outlook). When you find a document you want to save, you click a "File
and Save", select your categories, and you're off surfing again. ;-) They
also have a feature that allows you to save multiple files with a single
click, which I have used to double the number of files in my research
archive.

I realize I sound like an infomercial host. ;-) That will probably turn a
few people off, or make them suspicious. It would me. But give the program a
shot. Not only will you have a useful tool, but also a greater appreciation
for facets.

-Rick

-----Original Message-----
From: Pabini Gabriel-Petit [mailto:pabini at earthlink.net]
Sent: Monday, July 05, 2004 6:36 AM
To: Rick Cecil; Interaction Designers
Subject: Re: [ID Discuss] Searh vs. browse from an IxD perspective

Hi Rick

ContentSaver sounds like a good, useful product. Thanks for your
recommendation. It doesn't sound like a particularly revolutionary product,
but it does sound like a significant improvement over the way things work
now. I'll have to give it a try. :-) Does it allow you to save Web pages
that you'd otherwise be unable to save--like content off the UPA site, for
example, or an Adaptive Path article?

For the life of me, I can't understand why anyone would want to obstruct
someone's saving a Web page to a hard disk--especially when they're trying
to get you to join their organization or buy their services or products--but
some do. Isn't the whole point to get potential customers to keep something
that will remind them of your organization or business. Otherwise, why spend
all that information on business cards, fliers, ads, etc. Also, it seems a
little silly, considering all one usually has to do is open one's Temporary
Internet Files folder and copy the file to another folder.

Pabini

Rick Cecil wrote:
For browsing, sorting, and searching documents on my hard-drive, I have
found Macro Pool's ContentSaver to be a miracle-worker.

http://www.macropool.de/en/index.html

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5 Jul 2004 - 5:09pm
Florian Weber
2004

i definitely think that search has its good use cases, however alone
from
a implementation point of view i strongly believe in browse also.

so often i dont know exactly what i'm searching for, i have some ideas,
but to define each possibility would become terrible complex and
annoying.

another thing is also situations where meta data just doesnt fully
exist.
what if im searching for a file which was sent by by a friend and all i
know
is that he once mentioned that it was created by my other friend john?

i would really be interested in solutions for such cases though...

5 Jul 2004 - 6:58pm
pabini
2004

Hi Rick

You wrote:
You're right, the idea of categorization itself is not revolutionary. As a user, thought, it certainly feels revolutionary. ;-)

***[PGP] Anytime software actually facilitates our working in the way we want to work, it's a huge win! All too rare an event.
What the program does is fairly simple, but what it enables me, the a user, to do, is revolutionary. Maybe you (and other on the list) won't have such a strong reaction when you use it, but I have been able to classify and find--with relative ease--almost 350MB of research (about 700 files) that I have been gathering over the past two years.

***[PGP] That starting to sound a little more revolutionary. :-) How does ContentSaver classify files you saved before installing the software?

IOW, if you compare the amount of time I spent on information retrieval over the past two weeks with the amount of time I spent over the past two years, the product is revolutionary. (Of course, I realize, it could have been something I was doing wrong over the past few years and maybe other folks have better organization and retrieval skills. ;-)

I attribute this to being able to think about the "what" of the content, not the "where"; and it's not just one "what" it's multiple "whats"--that is, I can categorize my research using facets and can retrieve it using a faceted browse/search. For example, I'm not restricted to putting an article into my e-commerce folder even though, I would like to put it in my e-commerce, usability, and interview folders. I guess I could put shortcuts in the other folders, but that is time consuming--and I never did it.

***[PGP] This is one of the things that most appealed to me in your original description of ContentSaver.

I compare my pleasure (and it is sheer pleasure--there are bumps, but nothing I can't get over...) of using this product to someone who has been using a site for years because they need the information on it. The site is frustrating to use and the person always has a hard time finding what they need, but this site is the only place where they can find what they need. Then, one day, they visit the site to find it has been redesigned and everything they need--as well as more information they didn't realize was there--is at their fingertips. So, the actual redesign itself is not revolutionary, but the fact that the person can now retrieve all the information she wants when she wants it is revolutionary.

***[PGP] Glad ContentSaver has made your life easier and happier. That's what software should do for people. If it's revolutionary that software works as it should to support users' tasks, that's a pretty sad commentary on the state of software design.

As for saving content from the Web, it is super-easy. They have a toolbar that integrates with IE5.5+ (you can also install one that will integrate into Outlook). When you find a document you want to save, you click a "File and Save", select your categories, and you're off surfing again. ;-) They also have a feature that allows you to save multiple files with a single click, which I have used to double the number of files in my research archive.

***[PGP] How does the software create/let you create categories?

I realize I sound like an infomercial host. ;-) That will probably turn a few people off, or make them suspicious. It would me. But give the program a shot. Not only will you have a useful tool, but also a greater appreciation for facets.

***[PGP] I'm not feeling suspicious. ;-)

-Rick

-----Original Message-----
From: Pabini Gabriel-Petit [mailto:pabini at earthlink.net]
Sent: Monday, July 05, 2004 6:36 AM
To: Rick Cecil; Interaction Designers
Subject: Re: [ID Discuss] Searh vs. browse from an IxD perspective

Hi Rick

ContentSaver sounds like a good, useful product. Thanks for your recommendation. It doesn't sound like a particularly revolutionary product, but it does sound like a significant improvement over the way things work now. I'll have to give it a try. :-) Does it allow you to save Web pages that you'd otherwise be unable to save--like content off the UPA site, for example, or an Adaptive Path article?

For the life of me, I can't understand why anyone would want to obstruct someone's saving a Web page to a hard disk--especially when they're trying to get you to join their organization or buy their services or products--but some do. Isn't the whole point to get potential customers to keep something that will remind them of your organization or business. Otherwise, why spend all that information on business cards, fliers, ads, etc. Also, it seems a little silly, considering all one usually has to do is open one's Temporary Internet Files folder and copy the file to another folder.

Pabini

Rick Cecil wrote:
For browsing, sorting, and searching documents on my hard-drive, I have found Macro Pool's ContentSaver to be a miracle-worker.

http://www.macropool.de/en/index.html

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5 Jul 2004 - 5:13am
lopez_r6 at tsm.es
2004

I agree with Dan. According to the statistics I´ve seen, in web
sites, 30 per cent of the people use search capabilities and the
rest, try to browse first time. For certain people is better search.
Other people, try to use browsing.
I use both.
Forget my English
Rafa

02/07/2004 15:23
Dan Brown <brownorama at gmail.com>@lists.interactiondesigners.com

Enviado por:
discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com

Destinatarios: Interaction Designers <discuss at interactiondesigners.com>
CC:
Asunto: Re: [ID Discuss] Searh vs. browse from an IxD perspective

I haven't read the Jobs article, but I have to believe that neither
one of these paradigms is going away any time soon. Searching is good
for some things and browsing is good for others, even within the same
application. In Gmail, if I want to look through all the posts on this
mailing list, I can click a label. If I want to find all the email
from my friend James, I search on his name.

Opinion may vary wildly on this next idea: humans are natural
categorizers. To suggest that we will no longer want to browse
information on our computers implies that humans have reached a stage
of evolution where they no longer rely on categorization.

-- Dan

----- Original Message -----
From: David Heller <dave at interactiondesigners.com>
Date: Fri, 2 Jul 2004 09:09:28 -0400
Subject: [ID Discuss] Searh vs. browse from an IxD perspective
To: Interaction Designers <discuss at interactiondesigners.com>

http://www.wired.com/news/mac/0,2125,64069,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_4

the above article is about Steve Jobs' ascertion that browse/sort is
old hat and the future is search.

I'd like to get other people's thoughts on this.

I do think that sorting might be old hat, but there are other forms of
browse, or maybe I'm limiting my definition of search a bit.

What comes to mind for me is that I like GMail's labels, but I seldom
search. I browse based on those labels.
Another example is the 40GB of music I have. I seldom search ... I
browse. I do sort my lists by album and artist, but I seldom use the
text field to enter data, click a button and hope for a sub-set of
info.

Search comes up a lot in what I do as someone who has been working in
ECM for a long time now, so I'm curious as to what other people think
about the IxD implications on this subject.

-- dave

noname - 1K Download

--
Dan Brown ~ brownorama at gmail.com ~ (301) 801-4850

It's a sad day for America when even paranoid schizophrenics no longer
feel the need to wear their little aluminum foil hats.
-- Ed Helms, The Daily Show

the only thing that will save our democratic capitalism from itself is
a new labor movement. the plutocratic path down which we are heading
is eviscerating the middle class. that is simply not sustainable.
-- EC, personal correspondance
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8 Jul 2004 - 12:17pm
cfmdesigns
2004

Pabini Gabriel-Petit <pabini at earthlink.net> writes:

>About the article Dave mentioned:
>
><http://www.wired.com/news/mac/0,2125,64069,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_4>http://www.wired.com/news/mac/0,2125,64069,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_4
>
>Interesting article. Jobs seems to be implying that people are
>incapable of organizing the content on their hard disks, then
>finding it later by browsing, so thinks why should they bother
>organizing it at all.

I don't necessarily disagree with the first part of that. I've seen
way too many people who use their Desktop to hold everything (in no
order, and layering icons one on top of another). (Heck, I'm no
prince: my Mac has 21 icons on the Desktop, and my XP box has 23.
Many of these are folders containing other groupings.) Even when I
group and organize and stash "properly", it can do no good; when I
was recently looking for a set of photos sent by a friend, it took
more than 10 minutes to find them, since I didn't remember the folder
name and the photos were all named usefully by the camera as
"DCS#######.jpg" or whatever.

I suspect Jobs wouldn't accept the last quite the way you put it,
though. More, people realize that there's overhead attached to doing
a lot of organizing and that it doesn't always improve things,
especially when you've got a lot of very similar stuff to sift
through. So people don't bother to organize very heavily (note that
those of us on this list are probably less likely to be the market
slice that Spotlight is, ahem, aimed at), and thus the tool is
created to help them deal with that situation.
--

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Jim Drew Seattle, WA jdrew at adobe.com
http://home.earthlink.net/~rubberize/Weblog/index.html (Update: 07/07)
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