Summary: Most users are unable to solve even halfway complicated problems with search. Better to redirect their efforts into more supportive user interfaces when possible.
Users are incredibly bad at finding and researching things on the web. A few years ago, I characterized users research skills as “incompetent,” and they’ve only gotten worse over time. “Pathetic” and “useless” are words that come to mind after this years user testing.
In a recent study, for example, a user wanted to buy a highly protective yet girlish phone case as a gift for her daughter. While on Amazon.com, she engaged in random fishing expeditions into the product database, using search queries such as “pink impact resistant iphone 5 cover.”
This was by no means the worst query we saw that week; in this case, however, the user never found what she wanted. She tried a few query modifications — which most users won’t attempt — but never questioned her basic research strategy. Nor did she realize that Amazon uses a full-text search that doesnt understand the meaning of a query.
Through creative consumer apps and games, full-fledged design software, online workshops, and Autodesk-supported design competitions and projects, kids get the opportunity to explore ideas and concepts visually, learn the building blocks of design from the ground up, and gain confidence in critical STEAM subjects.
Free Software Options for in and out of the ClassroomDownload Free Software for Personal Educational UseThe Autodesk Education Community is an online community that enables teachers and students to download—for free—the same software used by professionals worldwide.Apply to Download Free Software for Institutional, in Classroom UseThe Autodesk Academic Resource Centre is an online grant delivery programme to provide free access to Autodesk software and technology to secondary education institutions in the UK.New: Download the step-by-step guide for ARCFree Apps to Use in the Classroom, Home or PlayFoster creativity in your students with fun and engaging Autodesk creative and mobile apps.