Is Search replacing the TOC and Index?

Subject: Is Search replacing the TOC and Index?
From: Andrew Harvie <withanie -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2014 16:36:19 -0300

Based on purely anecdotal evidence, I suspect that many of the people using
my documentation are using the Search function to the exclusion of all
other means of navigation. Heck, even I turn to the search before the
table of contents.

This might be evidence that I've created a lousy TOC, but I wonder if it
isn't also a trend in how people look for information. I've heard that many
people will enter URLs into the Google search field instead of the address
field and will search for what they already know how to find.

Just wondering if this is anyone else's experience, and if so, what if
anything, are you doing to improve the search experience for your readers?

My HAT gives me the option of creating context filters for the search, and
I'm considering a smallish number of filters that more or less duplicate
the major sections of the TOC, which is already organized primarily by user
task. Or, perhaps the filters should be feature-based rather than
task-based?

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