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Re: Browsing Vs Searching

From: Steven McCaffrey <smccaffr@MAIL.NYSED.GOV>
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2002 15:53:57 -0400
Message-Id: <sd7e15b0.098@MAIL.NYSED.GOV>
To: <vg_pavithran@rediffmail.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Hi Pavithran

Strictly speaking your question might not be an accessibility question but
more of a usability question though I think these two areas are tightly linked.

Recently, for example, there was a reference to an article about a Google by email service and the blind being a large subset of the users.
If search engines generally are not accessible (I think this is not the case but I haven't seen any systematic research on this) 
;I personally find google to be accessible ), this would be an interesting issue though I don't know if browsing is more accessible
because of some inherent difference between browsing and searching.


I'm a little unclear as to what browsing includes.  
I have found more and more sites lately that have search fields near the top of the home page and I usually find them a bit annoying though some are good.
A site specific search near the top can return many results and if the form of the results is not very informative, it's hard to tell which are what you want to follow.
Going through a large list is - and here's is where I have word trouble, not (accessible, usable?, both).
Still, to me, the word is not important.
A person who can see, for example, may be able to quickly scan a large list, whereas I usually 
have to listen to the whole list before I can determine what is worth following.

I would prefer a nice, clear, hierarchical design so I could easily do what I'll call browse-search - I'm not really browsing because I have in mind something specific but I'm browsing in the sense that I am using a top-down arrangement (sometimes an alphabetical list at the top level  - [a] [b] etc.  But I'm really searching since, as I said, I know what I want to find.  This is in contrast to just asking what is around on a given site - like browsing in a department store wondering what's available.

Some sites, like the recent 
science.gov portal does, I think, a good job of providing both a search facility and a topical "drill-down" facility with enough info at each level to let the user know if the next level is of interest.

I'm not sure if this is what you were asking about,

Steve

 
 

>>> "PAVITHRAN VG" <vg_pavithran@rediffmail.com> 09/10/02 02:35PM >>> 

Hi, 
I am doing some research work on searching and browsing. I 
want to design some thing which depicts the advantages of both 
comparitively. 
So, to which one people go when they feel to retrieve 
information about some thing or in some other occasion: Browsing 
or Searching? 

Please help me regarding this... 

regards, 
Pavithran 


Received on Tuesday, 10 September 2002 15:56:52 GMT

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