One way we can help people find the information they are looking for on the ABS web site is to improve our within-site search. Jacob Nielsen (1999), in Designing Web Usability asserts that more than half of all web users demonstrate 'search-dominant' tendencies by going straight to search when they first visit a web site. Other studies indicate that certain sites can be considered 'search-dominant', not users (Spool, 2001). In either case is it clear that within-site search is important.
Recently, the ABS web team have improved a number of elements of the within-site search available on the web site:
Advanced Search helps find specific information by narrowing the scope of a search request. This option is available from the 'Advanced' link in the top banner on most ABS web pages (next to the basic search field).
And Advanced Search also allows users to limit their search to specific areas of the web site, including Statistical Products (publications, spreadsheets, etc.), Corporate Information, School Education, etc.
For more detail check out the Shortcut on Advanced Search.
The information provided in lists of search results is also important.
Search results are now more informative including elements such as a catalogue number, product title, issue date and product type.
Further improvements to the ABS within-site site search engine are planned for the future.
If you would like to provide your feedback on the ABS web site, or for more information on the new AusStats design, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
ABS Statistical Publishing Department
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