Nielsen on Searcher Mental Models

Jakob Nielsen ran a column describing user expectations about “search”—it should have a box, a search button, and a separate search results page where results are linear and prioritized. He says that user mental associations have become so strong that “the label search equals keyword searching, not other types of search.” His arguments suggest that new innovative ways of presenting search results, like clustered results, have a long uphill battle to retrain searchers.