Findability – No Longer a Needle in a Haystack


Have you ever searched the Internet for that elusive site that you knew must be there?  It is often like searching for that proverbial needle in a haystack.  How can you ensure that a website is found?  By applying the principles of findability.

Peter Morville first coined the term “findability” in the article, Age of Findability (2002), as “designing systems that help people find what they need.” He expanded this definition in his book, Ambient Findability (2005), as “the ability of users to identify an appropriate website and navigate the pages of the site to discover and retrieve relevant information resources.” (Source: Wiki).

Findability is a holistic approach that encompasses information architecture (the discipline of structure and navigation), usability, website design and development, accessibility and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  Applied to websites, e-commerce portals and intranets, findability is both an art and a science that improves the ability of a site being found.  Although good SEO is critical in findability, Information Architects, web designers, developers and content writers all contribute to the findability of site.

Why is findability important?  The Internet has potential for communication with billions of accessible websites.  However, if a site cannot be found, the potential information is lost.  In fact, it might as well not even be there.  Findability bridges this gab between raw Internet accessibility and actual information communication. It no longer becomes an exercise of finding the needle in the haystack.

For further information concerning Findability, check out these sources:


About Susan
I'm a wife, mother and student living in the suburbs of Atlanta. After 20 years in corporate IT, I am currently working for a non-profit as Director of Operations.

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