OK, I know it’s a bit of a provocative (and frivolous) title, but it was either that or “Anti-patterns for Search”, which is somewhat less transparent… Anyway, the point is that although this site focuses on sharing best practices for search usability and user-centred design in general, we sometimes learn more by studying examples of the opposite, i.e. poor practice. The thing about UX design is that when executed well it fades into the background, letting us get on with the task at hand and not worry about the machinery of the interaction. It isn’t until we encounter flawed design that we are jolted out of our flow and forced to make choices that don’t seem to fit with either our expectations or the natural course of our activity.
So to that end, I am seeking examples of flawed design in the world of search. Have you any stories you’d like to share? Any examples of ‘search that sucks’? I can certainly think of a few which would make good subject matter. But before climbing on my own soapbox, I’d like to hear what other have to say.
If it’s something you’re happy to share publicly, feel free to post it here. If it’s a little more sensitive, just send me an email and I’ll make sure your confidentiality is maintained.
If I get enough replies I’ll post a summary here, along with any design insights and lessons learned.