I have decided to share my Scholarship winning essay on Live Search.
In Challenges faced by Live Search in creating a Compelling experience my argument is that Live Search has been hindered by lack of a compelling experience. Compelling experience is driven by flow.
My key findings (for those less akin to reading academic material):
- Model put forward by Hoffman, Novak was used to examine Live Search’s challenge in creating a compelling experience
- Compelling experience is driven by flow. In order to create flow need to stimulate variables: Skill/Control, Challenge/Arousal and Telepresence/TimeDistortion
- Skill/Control: Skill is users capacity for action. Control is perceived ability to successfully navigate.
- Challenge/Arousal: Challenge is the users opportunities for action. Arousal is a correlate of the challenge. Challenges must be perceived as of a level capable by the user.
- Telepresence/TimeDistortion: Telepresence is the perception that the virtual environment that the user is engaging in is more real or dominant that the physical environment. TimeDistortion is the perception of time passing quickly.
- Lowering challenge barriers increases arousal | Users need to feel challenged (but not perceive the challenge as being too hard)
- Low load times and response to inputs encouraged great interaction
- Relevance of results indirectly influences perception of challenge
- Live search is lacking in creating a compelling experience. For example, compare the search for ‘waterblaasting’ on Google vs Live Search. Now try ‘blastin123455′.
- For the former, the challenge provided is easier, click the correct misspelling. The latter again is easier, how does a 12 year old understand ‘try rephrasing or using synonyms’. Given 30% of internet users have low literacy! (reference in essay)
- Keep language barriers low
- Ensure your service responds fast to input
- Make the process as streamlined as possible, Google providing the correct spelling as an option to search for vs no result, shows the ease at which users can slip into flow on google vs live search.
- Keep page load times down.
- Ensure challenge barriers are low (easy to user interface)
- Relevance of information is always crucial
To remain competitive in today’s environment this level of analysis is required.
Scholarship Winning you say?!? Yes i have decided to return to University. How? Why? Well I can do my Masters in 1 year at St Andrews in Scotland (yes, the golf course university aka third oldest university in the world aka allows focus on Marketing and Web Technologies). I submitted this essay and have received a 2000 pound scholarship. Yay!
However I need to raise approximately another 20,000 pounds to cover fees, living costs and other incremental costs. (Did i mention in order to get my visa i need to do this by August 1st!). If you would like to support a kiwi making things happen through donations, linking it, passing the post on, or sponsoring me contact at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be great if you could help me get some attention….
Otherwise enjoy! I love being able to share my research / thoughts with you all :)
Update: Join the conversation on FriendFeed: Creating a Compelling Experience | Twitter @bwagy
Note: This essay was constrained to 2000 words so there is always room for more analysis / research for those that are keen!