Ambient Findability – Peter Morville

Ok it’s definitely that time of the week when I catch up on blogs. I have a feed that shows me all the latest Google Tech Talks some of which I ignore but some are genuinely interesting – such as this one entitled Ambient Findability and the Future of Search:

It’s easy to be dismissive due to the sheer pretentiousness of the title until you realise who’s giving the talk. Peter Morville is co-author of …

Many people consider Peter to be the founding father of Information Architecture, and certainly the above text was and still is considered to be a seminal piece.

In this talk Peter discussed what he refers to as Ambient Findability the subject of his new book:

Morville talks about the Internet, GIS, and other network technologies that are converging to make unlimited findability possible. He discusses how the convergence of these innovations impacts society, since Web access is now a standard requirement for successful people and businesses. His central belief seems to be that information literacy, information architecture, and usability are all critical components of what he see’s is the future of search.

It’s a fascinating talk that anyone in the new Web 2.0/Web 3.0 bandwagons should take a moment to listen to. I’m still left grinning at one of the observations he makes right at the beginning:

A few years ago I started to get really sick of the word usability. It’s a good word and folks like Jakob Nielsen did a good job of blasting that word into everybody’s heads. And when I talk with executives about their goals for the redesign of their websites, without fail when I say what’s your goal? they say “we want it to be more usable” so I’ll say great what does that mean?. The problem is that the word usability has sort of grown and grown until it’s almost synonymous with quality.

If you don’t understand why that’s a bad thing, then you really need to listen to this talk.

Equally if your a librarian or a Library System vendor then you need to listen to this talk, many of his examples are from this domain and they are fascinating.

2 thoughts on “Ambient Findability – Peter Morville

  1. cool stuff. I created and pioneered the most unique strategic collection of top level web properties ever accumulated. Pioneer of Vertical Locator Cluster Technology. Go to and watch the Video and you will capture a glimpse of what is yet to come. Once the platform is launched it will virtually impossible to catch up I am too big and the time has passed to acquire such a large land mass of 1100+ strategic top level location based web properties. I am the first to solve search. Convergence killed the algorithim. Once I combine Premium vertical location combined with word of mouth advertising the game will be over. Thanks for confirming alot of insight I learned on my own in the trenches. 8 years sweat equity paid in full.

  2. Pingback: VirtualChaos - Nadeem’s blog » Peter Morville talks to Talis

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