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Should users be provided with options to adjust budget, color, category etc. while searching or on the catalog page ?

I think providing advanced search options on the catalog page where relevant search results are visible would be a better choice since many users including me decide to change budget and stuff after looking at some products.

But still I am not sure about this. What do you guys think ?

Moreover is a simple settings (gear) icon enough to tell the user that they can view advanced options by tapping on the button ?

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Why should the options displayed only on the search or only on the catalog page? Can't is be both? –  Gildas Frémont May 11 '13 at 11:16

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

What you are looking to do is reduce the results.

The key to this is to provide the same tools that users use for browsing in the search result, with a few tweaks to make them relevant. Avoid thinking of it as 'advanced search' as that's not the way users think - they just view it as one experience.

With the shopping sites I have worked on the common approach is to provide a faceted navigation that allows users to select attributes of a product. For women's dresses this is commonly colour, size, brand and price. The same principle applies to the mobile experience except it makes sense to have the filters hidden. There are multiple ways to call these up, a simple concertina, a sliding approach where it is to the left or a full screen solution if you need to show more. If you look at the John Lewis mobile website I did the first version of a few years ago (m.johnlewis.com) I used a full screen approach. I think I'm more likely to use a side menu or some other method now but it still works as it is.

What ever you do don't use a gear icon as that relates to settings NOT navigation - which essentially what we are looking at here. Search and navigation should be seen as one and the same thing as much as possible.

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The simple answer it that you should place an advanced search option everywhere that you have search in your app. The prime reason being consistency.

If it's available for the search on one page, but not on the next, you are going to confuse users. People think relatively, and so they associate advanced search with search. When you then leave it out, people will search for it on the page because they know that it was there before. That then becomes a poor UX.

Additionally I don't see any reason not to have it everywhere that you have search, so you aren't really achieving anything by leaving it out in some positions.

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