By Duane Degler and Jacqui Olkin
Search is an increasingly important component in desktop and mobile online experiences, yet too often search is not designed to meet the needs of users.
Associations have unique challenges that come with serving multiple audiences and delivering a variety of information types through search—for example, balancing the relevance of publications, issue summaries, research papers, membership information, and event information. They must design their search experiences thoughtfully to meet both the needs of users and the aim of the association.
Here, we offer a practical to-do list to achieve user-friendly search for your association’s websites and apps.
Get to Know Your Users as Searchers
To create user-friendly search, it’s not enough to understand users in a general sense. You must also understand why they search, what they search for, and how they think about searching for different types of information.
Search analytics, surveys, and moderated usability sessions involving open-ended tasks and real data help develop an understanding of users as searchers and the various usage scenarios for your particular search environment. When getting …