[Scripter] This is a good conversation. I think Jared makes some valid points, but he has never liked search engines… search is: “only necessary if you can ’t make the investment in ensuring the right links are on the right pages”. BUT what about the users? As we all know, its hard to anticipate what they want. There’s a paradox: information is useful – but the more of it you have, the harder to navigate. No matter how well we design our site navigation, some visitors will always have problems, or need something else. Site search tools help. In our case, we’ve got a broad range of users, with different, constantly changing goals (goals that even change mid-stride). The bottom line is, there is a need. And there are users who prefer this method of finding information. A search tool is especially useful for users in research mode (for archived content) for example.
>With that said, I do agree with Jareds concept of ‘scent’. One thing i think we can say with a high level of certaintly: many, if not most, of our users want news. The new stuff, latest, most current stuff we’ve got. So, my vision for our new navigation strategy relies heavily on what we’ve been calling ‘smart’ navigation components – or widgets – fluid and changing in relation to the topics the Monitor is covering, and thus more relevant and useful – because it more accurately represents what we’ve got to offer.>
>My vision for our new site structure also includes a site index tool on every page – driven by our topics. The scaled down version that appears on every page will include the most active, or current topics. with a link for more or all. ( Here is an example of this – BUT just as concept, i don’t see us breaking out topics under such broad categories, but you never know 🙂 can be found at the bottom of this page.