For most of us business users, our day involves a lot of searching through different software interfaces. Whether you’re using your company’s main portal to log into different applications, or searching for a specific document, searching for software is an everyday part of business.A great way to find relevant information, search reduces the amount of time spent searching for documents and records. However, not all software is created equal. Searching for documents, records, and information in software can be cumbersome, frustrating and time-consuming. So, how much time do users waste searching through software? What are the most common pitfalls, and how can you improve your search in software? Let’s take a look at some of the most common search in software problems and suggestions for fixing them.
What is Software Search?
Search is the act of moving through information from a specific starting point, to a specific goal. Software search falls under many different categories, but the main ones are: - Information Retrieval and Search - Looking for information within a specific set of criteria, like a search engine. - Information Discovery - Finding information that may not be in the organization’s knowledge base. - Collaboration - Collaboration between employees, or between different departments within an organization. - Social Media - Searching for information on social media platforms, like LinkedIn. - Discovery and Exploration - Learning about new topics through research and exploration.
How to Improve Search in Software
Whether you have a team of just one or a few thousand employees, you spend a lot of time searching through your software. There are many ways to improve your software search, from better organization and workflow, to new functionality and apps to help you search through your organization’s data. - Organize your data - Searching through disorganized data can be more time-consuming and stressful than searching through structured data. - Define your search criteria - The more specific you are in your search, the easier it will be to find what you’re looking for. - Include filters - Filters help you narrow down the results based on specific criteria, like file type, date, etc. - Create a visual search experience - Pictures and visuals, such as infographics and graphs, can go a long way towards making your search experience intuitive and fun. - Add apps and functionality - Search is only as good as what you can do with it. Integrate apps and functionality, like a search calendar, visual search functionality, etc. - Provide Training - Training helps your employees be more effective and efficient at finding the information they need.
How Much Time is Users Spending Searching in Software?
Search times vary depending on the user’s experience, their industry, and the type of data that’s being searched through. However, most users spend around 30% of their time searching through software. Depending on the type of business you’re in, you can also expect to spend more time searching through certain software. For example, data scientists spend on average 41% of their time searching through their tools, compared to just 15% for financial analysts.
Users are Confused by Multiple Results
While search results can be precise, they don’t always need to be. Try not to hyper-focus on the words while reading through your search results. Take a step back and try to read through the overall visual presentation, using your peripheral vision to see if there’s anything there that caught your attention. Hyper-focusing on search words can be misleading. Remember to relax and let your natural instincts take over. You can also use visual search to help you navigate through your results.
Users are Confused by Poorly Functioning Narrowed Results
Search algorithms have come a long way in the past years. However, for some users, the result of those algorithms are still unclear and confusing. How your software is managing its search results can affect how users feel about your product. There are a few things you can do to improve the result of your search algorithm. - Make sure your software is programmed with the latest search algorithms. - Make sure your organization’s culture is open-minded enough to accept the results. - Make sure the results are accurate and relevant for the majority of users.
Search is an essential part of any organization’s workflow, whether you’re looking for information or trying to find a solution. However, bad search in software can be frustrating and time-consuming, so it’s important to keep an eye out for these common problems. There are plenty of ways to improve your software search, from organization and workflow, to new functionality and apps to help you search through your organization’s data.