Search and sensibility: Four tales of search

Advanced Session, presented by Louisa Cameron, Angus Fraser, Scott Bryant, Chris Khalil (News Digital Media).

With the improved quality and growing user familiarity with search engines, site search is now an integral aspect of the IA for any information-rich website, yet there is more than one kind of site search. Different types of search can evolve to meet the needs of different users in different contexts.

The audience will hear about four different search contexts and will be shown how some tailored search mechanisms have been deployed on large commercial websites:

  • Careerone.com.au have conducted research and usability studies to learn about our job seekers and to find out about the unique context of job hunting.
  • TrueLocal.com.au is a local business directory where information is mapped to physical locations. What are the conventions & challenges of “local search”? What do users mean by “here”? What are the differences between web and mobile implementations?
  • Carsguide.com.au realises that searching for cars isn't easy, particularly if you don't know anything about cars. Guided search offers a way to assist users to move through the car buying process. We'll share some insights gained from designing guided search and share the challenges of positioning search and browse.
  • Increasingly search is driving traffic not just to your homepage but also to pages on lower levels of your site. To really harness this traffic it's important to start treating these lower level pages as mini homepages. News.com.au are doing this by using search to generate contextually relevant links and hence harvest long tail traffic.

We will compare and contrast the search experiences offered by these different services and in discussing the issues and considerations behind them reveal some of the lessons learned and offer pointers for improving your own work in search.

This will be a group presentation, delivered by four members of the News Digital Media experience architecture team. Each presenter will give a brief outline of the project they worked on, including the lessons learned from an IA practitioner's perspective.

Interested audience members may wish to do some pre-reading. We recommend:

Louisa Cameron, Angus Fraser, Scott Bryant, Chris Khalil (News Digital Media)

While we're now all working together at news Digital Media, we hale from diverse backgrounds:

Louisa Cameron

Louisa Cameron has worked on websites for 10 years, in general web management and producer roles in Sydney and the UK. After completing a Masters in Multimedia, she zeroed in on user experience, working on IA/UCD projects for intranets, large government websites and now on CareerOne. In her spare time, she is currently learning about offline human behaviour, doing a Graduate Diploma of Counselling.


Angus Fraser

Angus Fraser is a Visual Artist turned Web Developer turned Information Architect. Since the mid nineties (with a recent detour via film school and media production) he has been hooked on designing for user experience. His past roles include Head of User Experience at 3 Mobile, Information Architect on numerous dot com bombs, Katoomba based freelance Web Developer and Bushwalker.


Scott Bryant

Scott Bryant began his career as a visual artist before working in university libraries and local government, and finally into new media over 13 years ago. Along the way he completed two Masters Degrees, in Media Art and Information Studies (while working as a Project Manager, Content Producer and IA). After a return from the US working on the Ask Jeeves innovative search interface he concentrated on user experience design working as Information Architect and lecturer in information and interaction design University of Technology, Sydney.


Chris Khalil

Chris Khalil has over 12 years experience in the field working on anything from the design of complex desktop applications and intelligent collaborative agent systems to RIAs, websites and virtual worlds such as Second life. He has presented at a variety of international conferences and published numerous papers in the field.


Program Schedule is online

The program schedule is now online. Don’t worry, we have a couple suprises planned to de-stress the packed schedule.

Student rates!

We’re offering special rates for full time students, for the conference and for the workshops.

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