My wife and I recently returned from a trip to France, and I was reminded about some advice my father had given me several years ago about driving in France.
The French like their traffic circles (and so do I). As you approach a traffic circle, a sign will list a couple of the places you can get to from the circle, and invariably, there is a sign for “Toutes Directions” or all directions. My father told me that if you don’t see the sign for where you want to go, always follow the “Toutes Directions” sign, and you will find your way. It will generally take you to another circle, where you repeat the process.
I don’t know why, but it works, and it reminded me of how searching a digital asset management system (DAM) should work like the French traffic circle or “rond-point.” (Yes, I know I was on vacation and should not be thinking of such things, but I live for searching!)
Searching should be intuitive! You should not need to know where you are going in order to get there. Searching should always take you in all directions, and at the same time, efficiently get you to where you want to go. Tools like Boolean operators, the ability to invoke a thesaurus or fuzzy searching logic all help users of MerlinOne to get where they want to go. Not sure how to spell something, type it “f-o-n-e-t-i-c-a-l-y.” Want to force a search to be singular or plural (MerlinOne searches for both by default), no problem. With MerlinOne, a user can also search stem words. Want to save a regularly used search, easily done!
Another benefit of the traffic circle is that it is a circle. If you miss your turn, no need to panic, simply continue around the circle, and your direction will come up again. Searching a DAM should be this easy. Initial search results too broad; add more information to the search to further refine the results without incurring a (performance) penalty. Since MerlinOne does not use “JOIN’s” (which slow down database performance significantly) it is easy to add date and time parameters and still get speedy results, often in sub-second times.
I DO like traffic circles. There is no need to stop for other traffic, you get to keep on moving and that seems pretty efficient to me…just like searching with MerlinOne.
Posted by David Breslauer
Photo by David Breslauer