Peter Morville‘s Ambient Findability sold out at Amazon today on the first day of release. There’s a reason: it’s good.
Morville’s work is the most appropriate follow-on to the usability concepts so well promoted by Steven Krug in his Don’t Make Me Think and Jakob Nielsen in Designing Web Usability. Findability, Morville argues, is a necessary component in the success and propagation of an idea or detail or fact. Business and non-profits alike will benefit from understanding the value of findability.
I noted this gem about why non-profits need to pay attention to their search engine placement and web traffic previously, but it’s worth noting again:
At [the National Cancer Institute], the [web development] team had to look beyond the narrow goals of web site design, to see their role in advancing the broader mission of disseminating cancer information to people in need.
The National Cancer Institute, it turns out, was poorly ranked in many relevant searches. Though it may seem obvious now, it doesn’t matter how authoritative their information is, it has no value until it’s found. Nach: findability.
My copy has has notes scribbled in the margin and a bunch of dog-eared pages marking things I need to revisit. No, you can’t borrow it when I’m done with it, go get your own.