This chapter enumerates 3 essential qualities of useful information systems: readability, browsability, and searchability.
In order to be useful, any information system must be readable, browsable, and searchable. This chapter enumerates guidelines and outlines qualities of readability, browsability, and searchability so you, as an information system manager, can incorporate these ideas into your products and services.
An information system, in the present context, is any organized collection of information. In our culture, information systems abound. The dash board of our cars are information systems. Maps are information systems. World Wide Web servers are no exception. While World Wide Web servers are primarily intended to be an electronic publishing medium they are also information systems. In order to be most effective, all but the smallest of information systems must be readable, browsable, as well as searchable.
All of these qualities (readability, browsability, and searchability) do not have to be equally represented in every information system. As your collection of information increases, different aspects of these qualities take on greater significance. Thus, the amount of readability, browsability, and searchability your information system exhibits depends on the type and quality of your collected data, as well as the information needs of your clientele.
This page was first published on September 26, 1995. Feel free to send comments.