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Tuning and design required

IT people are probably capable of installing a basic implementation of an intranet search engine, but may not have the specialist knowledge to tune the search system. And especially with “out-of-the-box” systems, it works, in that answers to queries are given, but results often lack relevancy, and do not provide a comprehensive search service over intranet content.

  • Query interfaces can be too complex. This requires making some improvements to enhance the relevance of search results and simplifying the search interface.
  • Have a default query page that is as simple as a single field in which to enter search terms and a search button, without any other functionality (such additions will rarely be noticed anyway). On a large intranet maximise the relevance of the results and provide “and-ing”.
  • If the search results page is not well-designed, then people will most likely not find the intranet content they require. This relies on the underlying tuning and configuration of the search engine, and on whether the search results page can be easily scanned and interpreted. Stripping work may be required to improve the layout and content of the “out-of-the-box” page.
  • Every intranet is different. Tuning may be required for the unique mix of content residing on the intranet:
    • Adjust “weights” to match the metadata that is used on intranet pages.
    • Check that all the pages on the intranet are being correctly indexed and can be found.
    • Tune documents search.
    • Test spell-checking, stemming and fuzzy matching.
    • Use metadata on key pages to improve their ranking in the search results.
  • Perform testing on the actual intranet content, with the various settings and options tuned to give the desired results.
  • Track search usage
    • Most popular searches for discovering how important information changes over time and allowing common searches to be reviewed and enhanced.
    • Failed searches for discovering causes of unsuccessful searches, identifying differences in terminology used, and highlighting problems with the search configuration or implementation.
  • With the failed searches information, implement synonyms using a manually created list
  • Create another list of key pages or documents for common searches with known “best results”. Add metadata to those pages and documents that brings those to the fore in the search results page.
  • Understand specialist search users needs and adapt for that. Best case, work together on that.


en/problems/psearch/design.txt · Last modified: 2020/03/09 10:54 by Digital Dot