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Ten Tips to completely fail building your Search Project

Ten Tips to completely fail building your Search Project

Search can be just solved by using Elasticsearch, or Solr, out of the box, right? If you wanna learn how to make sure you completely fail at search, this is your talk. Using real world examples we will review common patterns that will make your project search fail. With this talk you will learn, how to setup search ones and never touch it again. If it works for you, is good enough, users don’t have a saying on finding items. Users know what they want, no need to help them in the process.etc. Having this tips in mind, you will completely fail on search, and your product and business owners will never come back to you with complicated stuff to change your search cluster.

Pere Urbón

April 25, 2018
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  1. @purbon
    10 (or so) tips to
    completely fail building
    your search

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  2. @purbon
    Pere Urbon-Bayes
    Software Architect

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  3. @purbon
    Disclaimer

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  4. @purbon
    This is not about:

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  5. @purbon
    you or your project

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  6. @purbon
    your future projects

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  7. @purbon
    finger pointing

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  8. @purbon
    This is about:

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  9. @purbon
    Learning how to build
    proper search with a
    good sense humor

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  10. @purbon
    Your boss wants to modernise!
    You don’t want to do it.
    Everybody knows, If it works, don’t touch it!
    Your plans are…..

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  11. @purbon

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  12. @purbon
    Lets rewind a bit…

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  13. @purbon
    Your boss, who visited an elastic meetup, is
    asking you to build a modern site search.
    Machine Learning
    Personalisation
    Natural Language
    Processing
    Deep Learning
    Recommenders

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  14. @purbon

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  15. @purbon
    WorkQueueOverflowException

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  16. @purbon

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  17. @purbon
    We prefer rest

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  18. @purbon
    than hard work

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  19. @purbon
    Don’t worry, we are here to
    help you!

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  20. @purbon
    Plan countdown

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  21. @purbon
    7

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  22. @purbon
    No need to manage search

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  23. @purbon
    First, Let’s Fire All the
    Managers.
    by Gary Hamel
    https://hbr.org/2011/12/first-lets-fire-all-the-managers

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  24. @purbon
    Content don’t need cleanup.
    Metadata is overrated.
    The UI and UX is not worth it.

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  25. @purbon
    They don't want to see us unite:
    All they want us to do is keep on fussing and
    fighting.
    They don't want to see us live together:
    All they want us to do is keep on killing one
    another.
    Bob Marley

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  26. @purbon
    Divide et impera, your search team
    members are better disconnected
    caos is secure!

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  27. @purbon
    6

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  28. @purbon
    Search is a technical problem

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  29. @purbon
    To follow this tip there is only one rule:
    • Search stays only within engineering.
    • No other parts of the business will ever
    take part of it.

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  30. @purbon
    Geeks at work

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  31. @purbon
    What can go wrong,
    if no product people is involved?

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  32. @purbon
    You all know, search is as easy as
    setting up Elasticsearch or Solr
    The domain is not relevant at all
    Understanding users needs is overrated

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  33. @purbon
    5

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  34. @purbon
    Silver bullet search

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  35. @purbon
    Have you ever been in such situation?
    Business comes to IT with a magic solution
    that will solve all existing problems.
    Search (or any other kind of) vendor promises
    to solve all your company problems.

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  36. @purbon
    You don’t know how, but
    the magic solution gets in,
    what could go wrong?

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  37. @purbon
    Initial honeymoon is
    over, and ….

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  38. @purbon
    Boom!

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  39. @purbon

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  40. @purbon
    The cloud discontinuity
    acquisition paradox

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  41. @purbon
    The manipulation plot

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  42. @purbon
    Search is an easy problem
    Get an account on algolia, or get marklogic
    licence and solve all the problems
    Silver bullets are there for a reason!

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  43. @purbon
    4

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  44. @purbon
    Search does not require test

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  45. @purbon
    Search engine testing is too hard, we
    don’t want to do it.
    remember….

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  46. @purbon
    We prefer rest

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  47. @purbon
    than hard work!

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  48. @purbon
    But how should we do that?

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  49. @purbon
    Pretend you are busy
    few useful ideas…

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  50. @purbon

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  51. @purbon
    Logging user queries is not important
    Make your own educated guesses
    about queries
    Optimise for the uncommon input
    queries

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  52. @purbon
    Use very specific queries
    open ended queries are also good use
    cases.

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  53. @purbon
    Non product query terms are not
    important
    Disregards steaming effects on input
    query terms

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  54. @purbon
    Discards investigating query exit rate.
    Queries with lots of refinements are
    nothing to be reviewed.

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  55. @purbon
    Remember, search is not testable!
    everybody should be aware of it

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  56. @purbon
    3

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  57. @purbon
    Search doesn’t require UX

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  58. @purbon
    UX is an overrated field
    The UI will not affect search quality

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  59. @purbon
    If users don’t find results is their
    problem

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  60. @purbon
    Hide your search bar at all costs

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  61. @purbon
    Make your auto suggest random

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  62. @purbon
    Don’t show progress

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  63. @purbon
    Search does not require UX
    Have a search box,
    never think about UI anymore

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  64. @purbon
    2

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  65. @purbon
    Optimise for SEO but not for
    in-app search.

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  66. @purbon
    Have this conversation feel familiar to
    you?
    Leadership wonders how to improve
    user search process
    There is not much of understanding of
    search

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  67. @purbon
    Let’s optimise for SEO, anyway all
    traffic is coming from google anyway
    They actually never ask the
    engineering/product team

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  68. @purbon
    You should not worry, even encourage
    it.
    make search another one problem!

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  69. @purbon
    Our objective is…

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  70. @purbon
    Remember search is esoteric, SEO is
    well understood
    really?

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  71. @purbon
    People will most probably find your
    pages from the internet search engine of
    reference.
    but inside your app,….

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  72. @purbon
    Sadness and desolation is guaranteed
    Users will feel abandoned, high
    chances they will not come back.

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  73. @purbon
    If you are here, you probably have
    completed a few of previous tips very
    well.
    Good Job! only one left!

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  74. @purbon
    1

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  75. @purbon
    No need to listen to our user

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  76. @purbon
    Stage for this tip:
    You have a working search function in
    your app.
    You might be wondering, what are next
    steps to improve it.

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  77. @purbon
    If you are having such thoughts now,
    please….

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  78. @purbon
    why are you thinking too much?

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  79. @purbon
    But if you insist, or are forced to, improve
    your search
    This is a critical tip to sabotage all the
    search efforts
    Never listen to your users

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  80. @purbon
    No logs generated from your search
    Remember a common excuse, there is
    never time for that

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  81. @purbon
    No user feedback gathered from the UI
    Too hard to get it done!
    You can always play the GDPR card

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  82. @purbon
    Remember if you ask your users, they
    might tell you where search is not
    good, and you might be ask to fix it.

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  83. @purbon
    There is absolutely no
    need to deal with
    language
    This only apply if you have multi-language content

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  84. @purbon

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  85. @purbon
    Handling language is hard
    You should only care about English
    why should you bother about the rest…

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  86. @purbon
    Stemming is just introducing problems,
    for example:
    Word Stem
    console consol
    consoled consol

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  87. @purbon
    Don’t even think about phonetics, or
    other esoteric methods

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  88. @purbon
    There is absolutely no
    need to experiment
    This only apply if are really curious to improve

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  89. @purbon
    Improvements are thrown to users
    without caring much
    No metric or a/b test is run to check if
    the algorithm has improved
    remember…

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  90. @purbon
    No measurements, no
    arguments

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  91. @purbon
    Peace and love

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  92. @purbon
    Time for cat pictures

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  93. @purbon
    Wrap-up

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  94. @purbon
    Many options to
    sabotage your project

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  95. @purbon
    one with 100%
    success assured

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  96. @purbon
    You should not care about
    your users, if you have
    content they will find it!!

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  97. Presented sabotage tips
    1. No need to listen to our users
    2. Optimise for SEO
    3. Search does not require UX
    4. Search does not need tests
    5. Silver bullet search
    6. Search is a technical problem
    7. No need to manage search

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  98. @purbon
    Thanks a lot! Questions?
    disagreements? threads?
    Pere Urbon-Bayes
    Data Wrangler
    pere.urbon@{gmail.com, acm.org}

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