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How much time is wasted in searching?

Some good quotes of a Peter Moreville (author of Ambient Findability) interview courtesy of SmartMobs. Find the original Washington Post transcript here.
“Are there any realistic numbers for how much time companies waste on searching for stuff they can’t find (but is there… somewhere) and is then re-created for the Nth time?
Peter Morville: Here are a few statistics:
Employees spend 35% of productive time searching for information online.
– Working Council for Chief Information Officers, Basic Principles of Information Architecture
Managers spend 17% of their time (6 weeks a year) searching for information.
– Information Ecology, Thomas Davenport and Lawrence Prusak
The Fortune 1000 stands to waste at least $2.5 billion per year due to an inability to locate and retrieve information
– The High Cost of Not Finding Information, IDC White Paper
The average mid-sized company could gain $5 million per year in employee productivity by improving its intranet design to the top quartile level of a cross-company intranet usability study.
– Intranet Usability: The Trillion-Dollar Question, Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox
Of course, you need to take these with a grain of salt. For instance, the process of searching is very much a process of learning. In fact, I’d argue searching is one of the most important ways that knowledge workers learn. So, we don’t necessarily want to reduce (valuable) time spent searching…we just want to avoid the waste and frustration that comes with a badly designed system.”

Posted on: July 23, 2006, 11:21 pm Category: Uncategorized