-This is why I'm asking. Skip to TLDR if you just want what I'm asking- We're in the early stages of getting ready for redesign of a massive messy intranet using modern design principles.
One of the things we'll be doing is asking a group of users to find stuff on the current intranet. The problem that occurred to me is that, in our test situation, the users would know that the content they're looking for is somewhere on the intranet and would thus be likely to keep trying until they found it. In real life, they won't necessarily know if the intranet has that information and may give up too fast or not even think to look for it there in the first place (this happens to me a lot.)
So I was thinking we might randomly ask the users to search for content that isn't there, and we would tell them up front that some of the stuff they'll be looking for isn't on the site. That way in our test scenario, users will be more likely to give up when they naturally would.
TLDR: My boss likes the idea of giving users searches for stuff that isn't there but since its just an idea that I had, she wants me to see if there is anything out there recommending for or against this approach. Do you know of anything? Does this seem like a good idea to you? I googled and couldn't find anything. I don't know the terms.