Ease of Using Search Engines

Topics: World Wide Web, Internet, Web search engine Pages: 4 (1190 words) Published: March 14, 2001
"It is easy for all users to find specific information on the World Wide Web".

Because the web is relatively new in terms of reaching a large percentage of a country's population, users' experience, understanding and expertise varies widely. Technically-minded people will arguably have been familiar with the World Wide Web for longer, and therefore be able to find specific information more efficiently, if not more quickly than less experienced users.

Defining ‘easy' in terms of using the World Wide Web is interesting. In terms of searching for a specific item, it could be defined as ‘the ability to satisfactorily fulfil a task within a short period of time'.

The increasingly plentiful selection of search engines and reference sites on the Internet means that some users will experiment with different engines, whilst others will find one they are satisfied with and make it their first stop when wishing to find information. Users who experiment with a variety of search engines will take longer to familiarise themselves with each individual engine, this can take more time than a user who knows their way around their favourite engine.

A user who is loyal to one or two search engines would therefore find it ‘easy' to retrieve information, provided their choice of search engine successfully provided the required data. If, however, the chosen search engine were not successful, the user would then have the option of either altering their selection of words, or try again on a completely different engine, one that may be uncharted territory for the user.

I have been loyal to a small number of search engines, because on the whole they have provided the information I require, albeit after attempting a small number of alternative input words or phrases. This loyalty has stemmed from both my becoming more familiar with these engines, and my acceptance that if my chosen search engines or reference sites cannot find the desired information, then it is unlikely I...

Bibliography: Books
Maddix, F (1990), Human–Computer Interaction: Theory and Practice
Preece, J (1994), Human Computer Interaction. Wokingham: Addison-Wesley
Shneiderman, B (1987), Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human–Computer Interaction
Wærn, Y (1989), Cognitive Aspects of Computer Supported Tasks. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons
Internet Resources
Archetopia (2000), Information Space Architecture. Available at http://archetopia.com/
Education eXchange (1999), Website Evaluation
Internet Movie Database (2000), [custom search]. Available at http://uk.imdb.com
Organ Historical Society (1999), Daniel Roth Video at St-Sulpice
Total Net Central (2000), Tutorial: A Beginners Guide to the Internet. Available at http://central.total.net/central/newusers/index.shtml
University of Maryland (1999), How to Evaluate a Website
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