Two Clicks Away

Mouse I did a GOOGLE search on the string "two clicks away" the other day to see if anyone had put a trade mark on the concept.  I had a number of hits but nothing that would indicate that anyone has cornered the market on the term.   

I first started using this term myself when I got frustrated with the lengths I had to go to to get data and metadata in/from clients’ systems.  In the world of software-nirvana all the data you want is two clicks away.

Two clicks away, is the distance we’d all like to be from valuable information.  That concept extends to tools like Google.  Go to Google, enter a search string, do the first click… Google comes back with a set or responses.  If you’ve specified a good search string or two the information you are looking for is in the first 5 responses or so.  You execute the second click on the most appropriate Google response and BINGO the information you were looking for in there on your screen.

Wouldn’t it be nice if everything we needed from our information management systems was two clicks away.  But it’s not.  And this is especially true when we start to look at the delivery of corporate data.  Very few (if any) organization have Google like search capabilities for their corporate data.  Add to that the challenges of metadata – a breed of information that seems to defy all efforts to build tools that would allow our corporate users to be "two clicks away"  from any corporate information they require to get their jobs done. 

Two-clicks-away — something to aspire to.

  1. Graham Boundy Reply

    Returning to Metadata. The state of Metadata hasn’t changed much since the original post. Most people’s eyes roll into the backs of there heads by the time I say meta (or meh for some of my close associates).
    Today I looked up the term ex·ac·er·bate on the websters website. It came back with…
    1. to increase the severity, bitterness, or violence of (disease, ill feeling, etc.); aggravate.
    2. to embitter the feelings of (a person); irritate; exasperate.
    And I did this in about 3 clicks.
    I’d like to be able to this with any industry specific acronym that is floating around my company. I could search for TLA and it would come back and tell me it stands for Three Letter Acronym, it would describe the context of where it could be used, etc.
    In order to do this I need a search engine like a Google that has already searched for all the terms the company uses, assigned a probability that the information is what I’m looking for and present it in order of highest probability of being the term I’m looking for.
    Oh, but that search engine would also have to have clairvoyance to assign definitions to terms that have not been documented properly. Or someone would have to do a lot of work to fill in the blanks once the search engine had done all its searching. The second alternative is prohibitive from a cost perspective and the major reason why when I say metadata peoples’ eyes roll into the back of their heads.
    But it is nice to know I can still generate that reaction at least.

  2. Stephen Reply

    The challenge is balancing the volume of data and getting the click rate down, which would imply that you have both a good search tool as well as properly organized information and maybe as important is the understanding of how to ask the question. Even good old google has shortcuts once you get to know it.
    In the corporation, more data is being catalogued and becoming searchable, but once again is not always applicable. As you say eutopia may not be reached, but it should be our goal.

  3. mip Reply

    Hmmmm….this sounds a lot like Andrea Jackson’s motto from when we were at Caught in the Web/Personus/Cognicase. She use to employ a three-click rule. Guess you are coming in between her approach and Amazon’s 1-click. Hee hee.
    Seriously though, I do think that ease of access is key to any good application deployment. I use to feel that good interface design helped to achieve the 3-click (2-click or 1-click, or whatever-click) objective, but through experience I know sometimes even the best design can’t achieve this due to the amount and or complexity of the content. I do think though that we can get to this concept of the minimal number of clicks through great desktop, LAN, WAN, Internet search.
    Ok – go click now.

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