Two points make a line

As I was watching the tow truck driver prep the flat bed to pick up my car today (it has been A Month), I thought to myself, “self, based on all the factories and such that I saw on Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood and Sesame Street and all, I really thought there’d be more levers activating hydraulics involved in my adult life.”

We all need more levers that go PSSSSSSSSHT BAM in our lives.

What we need less of are bad search results. I mean seriously, it’s been over a decade since John Ferrara wrote Strategies for Improving Enterprise Search, Search Behavior Patterns, and Applying Turing’s Ideas to Search for Boxes and Arrows,  and Testing Search for Relevancy and Precision for A List Apart.

And yet, when I search for “packing peanuts” on local retailer sites I get shit like this:

screenshot of the ace hardware search results showing that a search for packing peanuts results in bird seed, candy bars, peanuts, and similar unrelated topics.

Screenshot of dollar general search for packing peanuts resulting in peanuts, candy, crunch n munch and other types of food useless for packing.

I wouldn’t be so pissed except these are places that Google had assured me sold packing peanuts. So compounded fail on this one.

Look, I know information architecture isn’t popular anymore and everyone’s going to replace us IAs with LLMs but seriously, you do your customers a serious disservice if you aren’t at least checking if your search results are shit.

Anyway, it’s back to the accessibility requirements mines for me in less than 12 hours, so off to do something useful, like sleep. At least in my dreams shit is shorted correctly.

Author: Anne Gibson

anne gibson is a Senior Staff Product Designer and General Troublemaker working on design systems from outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She's an editor and writer at The Interconnected. She is also published at A List Apart and The Pastry Box, and publishes short fiction when she's not persuading the terriers to stop wrecking things. (The terriers are winning.)