From my time working in libraries, I know how important it is to have online resources that have been dedicated to a particular type of information. People don’t want to have to work hard to find information. This includes having to heavily filter down results and work out which resource would actually be of value.
This is why, for those seriously looking for information, normal search engines don’t work. However, I also think it’s important to not get over zealous when creating a platform for people to search for information.
Having come across quite a few library catalogues and portal sites as well as job sites and the research part of a company website, I can see that there are differences in how information is tagged and thus what aspect of a document is searchable. Too little and you can have too much information to sift through, too much and you could miss information.
Getting the right balance can be tricky and it all depends on who the audience is. What kind of information do they need? How do they search for information? What keywords would they use?
I came across a nice portal site that allows you to search with keywords and then further filter by a list of other tags associated with the results (Careers Tagged). However, it only allows the results found, to be filtered down once. The site also allowed you to view the tags associated with each result, so you can search for results within a different tag.
Its a nice portal site that doesn’t make searching for information too complicated as each result would have been curated before being added. However, depending on what is being sought, there is a particular logical order that those not trained in searching for information, may not follow.
It is key to know who the users of the site will be and understand how they think when they are searching for information. However, it is also important that the users do not fully dictate how items are tagged. Thus, training your users or having a simple guide may aid users in fully understanding how they can find information using a particular information resource.