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What You Can't Find, You'll Never Know. Read This Book.,
This review is from: Ambient Findability: What We Find Changes Who We Become (Paperback)
Morville's work is the most appropriate follow-on to the usability concepts so well promoted by Steven Krug in his Don't Make Me Think and Jakob Nielsen in Designing Web Usability. "Findability," Morville argues, is a necessary component in the success and propagation of an idea or detail or fact. Business and non-profits alike will benefit from understanding the value of findability.
Obviously, findability serves more than just internet marketers and hucksters. Morville offers an example of a nonprofit medical research agency and how the findability -- in this case, the search engine ranking of their web content -- affected people's ability to get authoritative, quality information on the web.
"[T]he [web development] team", Morville writes, "had to look beyond the narrow goals of web site design, to see their role in advancing the broader mission of disseminating [...] information to people in need."
Morville could have asked "if a remarkable idea springs up in the forest, but it doesn't show up in the first page of Google search results, is it really all that remarkable?" But findability is more than that, and there's a lot more to the book. Morville discusses findability in depth, considering both its current and possible future implications. Eventually, of course, findability will butt up against our notions of privacy, and Morville explores that as well.
Though the book will serve information architects, software designers building anything related to web content management, web designers, marketers, and PR flacks well, its real gift is to the teachers, researchers, librarians, and public servants who handle so much valuable data that must (or, in some cases, must not) be findable.