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Apple Dev Resources: Search Lacking

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Apple Dev Resources: Search Lacking

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Maybe Apple just went to sleep at the wheel on search because they were buds with Google for so long. It‘s time for them to wake up. Especially since search is not that complicated. Furthermore, Apple actually has stuff that‘s worth searching! They document their stuff, they have a lot of great example code, then the easiest part: getting people to it in their time of need, they turn in a truly mediocre performance.

First off, the developer site has the most annoying thing possible in a search implementation: when you follow a link and then go back, you get the question ‘do you want to resubmit the form?‘ Are you kidding me? The worst thing, though, is that there is no real attempt to provide ways into the material beyond topical navigation. (Actually, the astounding contrary to my original contrarian position move, it‘s truly remarkable how useful the traditional navigation is.) The problem is that when it‘s not sufficient is often the cases where getting pointed to the right information would yield the most value.

For instance, did a search on ‘incremental search.‘

These results look like they are a prank. Of course, I am interested in getting the search bar to show hints, etc., while the user is still typing. This could be interpreted as typical narrow hubris: we have a guide and if you read it you‘d know what you need to know. I do wish for better search, and I still wince when I find myself out searching google for answers. But just today, when wondering why rotating views with ads was a pain, ultimately, the search didn‘t really help, but the guide got me there in no time. The search dominated world that has sprouted in the last decade (the one that SJ was named CEO of the decade for) has brought some good things, but more devolution.

Perhaps there‘s no surer sign of this than the fact that ultimately, search starts feeling like french fries: it tastes good, you want to keep eating, but you know a diet of nothing else is madness.


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