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What’s Hiding Behind Search-Based Navigation? (19 Oct 2004)
When one does a Google search for the ‘War of 1812', it doesn’t really matter much which site the answer comes from. Users poke around the first couple and results if they find what they need, they are done. Excellent. The pages and pages of other results may not get visited, but still serve a valuable purpose since they provide information about the size and shape of the data space for the subject.

Now what happens when we try to move search to the desktop? Searching your own files turns out to be a considerably different task because most of the time there really is only one correct result. An extensive result list actually puts you farther from the desired information and requires a lot of post-search list scanning.

There are other important differences which make searching a desktop machine a harder problem. Let’s examine a few.
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