custom search solutions

We all love well-crafted search solutions. However, creating them is difficult. Here is where search design comes in, the design method we developed while building search solutions for our customers. Search design helps you create search solutions that are tailored to your business. And the best news is our toolset Spinque Desk helps you at every step of the design process. Read how to apply search design to create the perfect solution to your search problem.

Search
Search is an essential part of any information system. It helps you find the information you need in order to accomplish your (work) task. Search comes in many forms: queries in a search bar, recommendations alongside a retrieved item, suggestions in response to an input.

Who better to design search than domain experts who thoroughly know a business and know what users are looking for? Conventional search technology requires technical skills to operate and therefore is managed by engineers. Domain experts are only marginally able to determine the results.

Search design enables domain experts to create custom search solutions. They take on the role of search designers and focus on applying their knowledge to obtain results that are best suited for the tasks of their users. Engineers support them and focus on data management and performance.

Custom search solutions
Search solutions help users find information they need to accomplish their tasks. These tasks differ greatly from domain to domain and from context to context. Obviously a good result in one domain and context rarely is a good result in another domain and context. This is not only true for the content of a result but also for the type and form. A policy officer at a university organizing a conference and searching for speakers needs other results than a city councilor preparing for a meeting and looking for statements by fellows or a customer at an online shop looking for gift suggestions based on a product she knows someone loves. Different users have different information needs.

In order to realize search solutions that best satisfy a specific information need, search design takes users and their tasks as the starting point of a design process. During this design process an algorithm is created that produces relevant results of the type and form that the specific search task requires. A list of leading scientists, notable statements or exciting books.

Whereas conventional search systems offer one algorithm for all tasks, search design offers a custom algorithm for every task.

Design process
Custom search solutions are designed in a succession of steps. During every step the search designer adjusts an evolving algorithm based on their knowledge and experience and on the feedback from users and other stakeholders. Programming skills are not required to accomplish this. The evolving algorithm produces a list of increasingly relevant search results.

Search designers further deepen their understanding of the users and their needs during the design process. As they get more experienced they are able to respond quickly to changing needs and requirements and to leverage all the available data. This results in search solutions of increasing richness and complexity.

Once search designers finish a search solution they can easily deploy it and put it into production. Engineers take care of performance, scalability and efficient execution. If new requirements or needs arise search designers can easily adjust existing solutions or create new ones.

Search design enables domain experts to fully contribute their knowledge and experience, to focus on obtaining relevant results and so to create excellent search solutions.

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