Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Usability factor

Well, I was browsing the CNN Website Education section looking for an article (regarding ASU) of which I had an broken link (which I picked up from a forum)

Now, After the finding the link to be broken after a bit of grumbling I really had 2 options:
1) To give up on the article
2) To find the article myself

Well, I picked option 2 for no certain reason and tried the so-called "search" feature.

Now the problems I faced while using the search feature:
1) By default the search is a web-search and not a CNN.com search. I just don't get this, Why would anybody does this? I won't go to CNN.com to do an Yahoo search(this is what they use). This should be really simple to know, understand and do.
2) No section specific search: So I can't search in education section only
3) By default results are ordered by Date and not Relevance. This was really irritating. I was getting really weird top results due to this as the hits were sorted by date.

Though, I wasn't able to find the article using the search, I thought why not just browse to the date of the article (somewhere in april). I clicked on "more articles" link on the Ed section page and viola I was on a page that looked like had archived content but that was limited till May only. I wasn't able to find a link to older stories :(

A simple example of how Small things when overlooked can cause mayhem to a web site's usability.

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