Grocery stores organize hundreds of thousands of products, but you’re never shocked to be able to go into an unfamiliar one and find a specific brand of whole wheat bread. (Amazingly, you can even usually go into a brand new grocery store and be sure that they don’t have the thing you’re looking for, which is the gold standard of findability to me. We almost never get there in digital experiences.)

Strategies for findability:

  1. Wayfinding for legible landscapes
  2. ??


Bartl, Stephan. Findability in Online Help Systems . FH Joanneum Graz, 22,

Six basic information needs

- Known item search
- Exploratory searching
- Don't know what you need to know
- Exhaustive research
- Re-finding
- Investigating support for an idea

Foltz, Mark A. Designing Navigable Information Spaces . Washington University, 20 May 1998,

Criteria of findability:

1. Successful recovery of location and orientation: the navigator can definitively answer "where am I?" and "which way am I facing?"
2. Successful performance of wayfinding tasks: the navigator can make correct navigation decisions that let them fulfil a goal.
3. Successful imaging of the space: the navigator can form a mental model of the space to use again.

Wang, Richard Y., and Diane M. Strong. “Beyond Accuracy: What Data Quality Means to Data Consumers.” Journal of Management Information Systems, vol. 12, no. 4, 1996, pp. 5–33.

Retrieval quality (aka accessibility, in the non-WCAG sense): Did you find the information you were looking for?

- Findability: Easy and quick to get to.
- Security: Available to the right people.