Otis Gospodnetic and I recently gave a talk at the New York CTO Club on faceted search. The club is a group of senior technologists who meet monthly in midtown Manhattan to host breakfast presentations and to share ideas and expertise. Those of you who have read my book or attended the UIE virtual seminar a few months ago that I gave with Pete Bell (whom I worked with for 10 years at Endeca) might recognize some of my material. Otis focused on the specifics of implementing faceted search using the open-source Solr platform.
Here were the major take-aways:
- Think about what users are trying to do, not just how they search.
- Facets get polluted with bad result sets, so offer clarification before refinement.
- Don’t just move the information overload problem to the facets! Show less, not more.
- Look at the potential data facets you already have, you will be surprised.
- Facets can come from new data, e.g. sentiment.