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I've recently been working on a project where toner cartridges are being sold. The current product listing only lists the manufacturer and the model number, but excludes the model name.

For example, searching for "HP 9000" would yield a cartridge for that particular printer; however, searching for "HP LaserJet 9000" would yield nothing. (The printer is a LaserJet)

Now, my question is this: Would the return of no search results deter users who typed the entire model? -OR- On return of nothing, would the user simply type the manufacturer and the model number?

Could the experience be improved by displaying matches without the text "LaserJet" even when the manufacturer and number is a match?

share|improve this question
Can't you just display the model name in the product listing? That is the best solution. – rk. May 30 '13 at 18:38
Yes, I know that's the solution... but I need proof that's a justified solution. I agree that's the answer to the problem. – kurzweilguy May 30 '13 at 18:49
In that case you should modify your question. Right now you are asking for alternate methods, what you want is backing for the claim that listing the model name is necessary. – rk. May 30 '13 at 18:52
That should do it. – kurzweilguy May 30 '13 at 18:55
up vote 7 down vote accepted

In your situation, a user will just copy the full model name from the printer properties dialog in Windows, to the search input field. So if it doesn't match, the user won't try to remove the model name and search again. Also, it might not be clear to him what exactly he should type into the search field.

I think it would be better to make a separate field for the manufacturer (radiogroup or checkbox list) and model (text field with autocomplete or combobox):

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
This is good stuff! Can you speak to the behavior if this weren't implemented? Aka: My situation before this solution. – kurzweilguy May 30 '13 at 18:54
I think that in your situation a user will just copy the full model name from printer properties dialog in Windows to the search input field. So if it doesn't match the user won't try to remove the model name and search again. – user32248 May 30 '13 at 19:05
So, you would agree that the user would not search further if no results were yielded after the first unsuccessful search? – kurzweilguy May 30 '13 at 19:14
Yes, I do. Especially if it is not clean for him what exactly he should type to the search field. – user32248 May 30 '13 at 19:21
Thanks so much! You should add that to the answer, just in case other users don't see the comments here. – kurzweilguy May 30 '13 at 19:22

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