Information and Findability

Like talents that are never found or expressed, like ideas that languish and are lost, “Information that’s hard to find is information you can’t use.” -Peter Morville, author of “Ambient Findability.

This is something that fascinates me about productivity and information. Productivity methods enable us to save information so that we can find it again when needed. Blogging is a very effective way of doing this. And information can be valuable indeed.

It also fascinates me the way we sometimes find the most interesting information in a very serendipitous way. I read the above quote from a blog in my feedreader and it aroused my curiousity to Google the name, which led me to Findability.org. There I found a post that mentioned an article “Being Shallow” by Grant Campbell at boxesandarrows. It deals with the difficulty of “doing it all” and the advantages of focusing. One of the most commented posts there is “Comics: Not Just for Laughs” by Rebekah Sedaca, which talks about comics as an effective way to communicate.

Back to findability

See the honeycomb diagram in the article User Experience Design at Semantic Studios.

Is this site?

  • useful-providing innovative solutions?
  • desirable-visually attractive and a clear brand?
  • accessible-designed for access for all?
  • credible-providing regular, dependable information?
  • findable-
  • can users find the site?
  • can users find their way around the website?
  • can users find info on the site despite the website?
  • usable-user friendly?
  • valuable-advancing the mission through the user experience?

“Findability precedes usability. In the alphabet and on the Web. You can’t use what you can’t find.” – Peter Morville

I enjoy finding great information, combining it in new ways, and packaging it creatively. I'm highly interested in the areas of goal setting, time management, and skills to improve life.

Posted in information management
One comment on “Information and Findability
  1. Excellent post. Thoughts:

    o An airtight, flexible, and fast idea capture system is crucial. The state of the art isn’t there yet (IMHO), so I use a simple text-based system. More at: My Big-Arse Text File – a Poor Man’s Wiki+Blog+PIM – http://ideamatt.blogspot.com/2005/08/my-big-arse-text-file-poor-mans.html

    o I use blogging to develop ideas, and to review ideas from books that I want to keep and share. However, for me I have far more ideas than I could blog about (~1500 according to my file).

    o Serendipity: Very nice point. That’s one argument for keeping paper libraries – it’s easier in some ways to discover something unrelated but interesting. Amazon and other recommender systems are starting to do this better… For me, if I do a search in my text file for a certain word or phrase, I’m often surprised by what I find around it. For example, “serendipity” ->
    BookNotes: “A perfect mess”
    BookNotes: “Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fullfillment” by George Burr Leonard (“mastery’s true face” – relaxed and serene, sometimes faintly smiling)

    Cheers!

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