November 30th, 2005

User testing of mental models for search

Jakob Nielsen reports that user tests show that people expect a search box, a search button and a list of search results in order (among other things). This reflects my experiences, and those of Whitney Quesenbery and other researchers -- for articles, see my SearchTools Search UI/UX Report.

I have one minor caveat with Jakob's recommendations -- to my surprise I found that search buttons labeled "Go" or ">>" seem to work well for users, when they are close to a search box and the word "Search" as a text label.

Beyond that, I am delighted to find that his test results agree with mine, and encourage everyone to follow his recommendations.

Google Mini Search Appliance requires security patch

As reported by EWeek, the security sites, Metasploit and Secunia have found security holes in the Google Mini Search Appliance that could lead to abuse by hackers. All users of the appliance should make sure they apply the Google-supplied patch as soon as possible.

(SearchTools has a slightly out-dated but long review of the Google Search Appliance, and a Product Report for general information)