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Findability is a term for the ease with which information contained on a website can be found, both from outside the website (using search engines and the like) and by users already on the website. Although findability has relevance outside the World Wide Web, it is usually used in the context of the web. Heather Lutze is thought to be the creator of the term in early 2000s.[1] The popularization of the term "findability" for the Web is usually credited to Peter Morville. In 2005 he defined as: "the ability of users to identify an appropriate Web site and navigate the pages of the site to discover and retrieve relevant information resources", though it appears to have been first coined in a public context referring to the web and information retrieval by Alkis Papadopoullos in a 2005 article entitled "Findability"[2][3]

Findability encompasses aspects of information architecture, user interface design, accessibility and search engine optimization (SEO), among others.

Evaluation and measures[edit]

There are various ways in which findability, or aspects of, can be measured or evaluated.

To evaluate how easily information can be found by searching a site using a search engine or information retrieval system has led to the development of retrievability measures. While to evaluate how easily information can be found by browsing through a site various navigability measures have been developed (e.g. PageRank, MNav, InfoScent (see Information Foraging), etc.).

Findability also can be evaluated via usability testing or tree testing.

See also[edit]


  • Jacob, Elin K. and Loehrlein, Aaron (2009). "Information architecture". Annual Review of Information Science and Technology (ARIST) (Indiana University, Bloomington, USA; Medford, N.J.: Information Today, Inc.) 43. doi:10.1002/aris.2009.1440430110. 
  • Morville, P. (2005) Ambient findability. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly
  • Wurman, R.S. (1996). Information architects. New York: Graphis.
  1. ^ Wainger, Liz (20 June 2013). "The Shtickiness Factor". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  2. ^ Alkis Papadopoulos (April 1, 2005). "The Key to Enterprise Search". KM World. 
  3. ^ Though the word has been used to mean "ease of finding information" since at least 1943: see Urban A. Avery, "The 'Findability' of the Law", Chicago Bar Record 24:272, April 1943, reprinted in the Journal of the American Judicature Society 27:25 [1]

External links[edit]