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10

I recently spoke with Sarah Alpern about her work on refining LinkedIn's search. They too have a great deal of data to sift through. She has written two great posts on this subject that I think you will find useful. http://blog.linkedin.com/2008/12/02/optimizing-your-linkedin-search-experience/ ...


8

Yes, that is a very good idea. There are a number of sites that I have used that don't do this, and the result can be very frustrating. Lets say that I have spent time looking at many items and I am many items below the search / filter component. If I want to double check what it is, I have to lose my place and spend time scrolling up first. Poor ...


8

In Best Practices for Designing Faceted Search Filters Greg Nudelman talks about "drill-down" versus "parallel" selection: A link is the simplest mode of filter selection. By clicking a link, a customer can either select a single value for a specific filter or drill down a level in a taxonomy, like a category or department hierarchy. [...] In ...


8

I suggest not making the change at all. Here's why: The affordance you are trying to provide could cause more confusion than help. Since you have small number of filters, giving the repeat users more help to "not have to" set the filters to their liking every time is a nice thought, but weigh this against this user data: • how long does setting the filters ...


7

Yes, it's possible to integrate filters with breadcrumbs to create a more robust product browsing experience. Such a system is called faceted navigation (your filters are facets). There's one catch to it: you must give your users the option to edit/remove any of them without changing the rest. Faceted navigation mimicking breadcrumbs is easy to implement in ...


7

Informing users what's going on is never wrong. Assuming that we’re within time limit (<100 ms) and do not need to do anything is always wrong. How can you tell how long it takes for user X to download content Y from your site Z at any given moment? There must be at least 200 unknown variables here that you do not have control over. That’s the reason we ...


7

It is almost always better to both (a) cut out unnecessary steps, and (b) immediately show the user results of an action. Automatically filtering results when the user clicks a check box does both of these things, and having a "Filter" button does not, so the first design is better. Of course, it should also be easy for the user to undo or change the ...


5

I guess the top positioning feels more like it's controlling the results from first use, where as left positioning feels more like filtering as an afterthought if you don't see what you want to start off with. According to the Faceted Metadata for Information Architecture and Search ( http://flamenco.berkeley.edu/talks/chi_course06.pdf page 54) the lesson ...


5

For faceted search, the best practice I can recommend is to not allow the user to create a condition that will end in no results. When the user makes a selection, disable elements that do not have results tied to them. Any further user selection should further narrow the current already filtered result set. download bmml source – Wireframes ...


5

Moving to more human-like computer system, you could give to the system some human features: Politeness -- don't make use blame himself of his error (this effect is described by D.Norman in The Design of Everyday Things). Just point it gently. Forgiveness -- both computers and humans make errors. Forgive the user and he will forgive the system's error ...


5

Use drop down if you have more than 5-6 sizes, to reduce clutter. If you have up 5 options then radio button's present complete visibility, some good examples of best practice attached: This product only has 3 sizes, so radio buttons or visibly selectable fields are the best options here. But with an item such as shirts, with a number of neck size ...


5

You can consider third option, when products are not updated automatically, but Filter button is floating. Please watch the animation: So the filtering button is always close to user's point of focus and mouse travelling distance is short. This solution is good, when: search is quite slow probability of complex selection (many options) is high


4

Pre-offer results as much as possible If you can correct spelling: pre-offer the results of the correction along with the correction If the user has too many filters: pre-offer unfiltered results and offer to turn filters off If the system can find results for fewer terms, offer the those fewer terms If the system can find results for words that are ...


4

One idea is to group the child category filters below the parent category. This makes it clear that the child category filters will return a subset of the parent: download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups This design gives you flexibility in the event that your taxonomy changes. For example if a new subject type is ...


4

The filter method you suggest usually works pretty well. We're using a variant of it in one of our products: This way we still have a heading row at the top which you can use for ordering data. This also ensures that you know which column contains what even if a value has been filled in the filter. Disclaimer: this is a web-app for which the users are ...


4

One more option to consider, if you can expand the dropdown a little bit treating it as a pane rather than dropdown sensu stricto: Remember that criteria in the top right only can present a short sumary of what is defined in filters, but this should be enough for user to be aware of it. The idea is to show the filters alongside with the dropdown.


4

I prefer a slight adaptation to your second example, "Alphabetic with Append." My slight adaptation is to make a distinction between the top 5 and the remainder of the results. This could be something as simple as a horizontal rule below the top 5, or showing the results in columns to the right. For example: *Color* *Color* Green ...


4

Slider has more cognitive load for a user. Also interaction implementation using slider could lead to some time losses. In a scenario when user keep in mind the intended price range for a product, possible issues are: User should constantly map the intended number and slider position. Even if the intended number is displayed in the slider, some users ...


4

Sliders give free choice of the price range. Problems with Sliders However, since they are usually one of multiple criteria, and the majority of the screen should present results rather than the filter, they are usually quite small. Picking a specific price requires pixel-perfect positioning (or - in case of a hard limit - isn't even achievable). Range ...


4

2 arguments in favor of sliders: If I'm shopping for foo, I'm usually operating with an upper price boundary but not a lower one. Not always, but usually. A slider lets me keep my lower limit at $0 while I tweak my upper limit. Links to set price ranges force me to chunk out my search for the perfect foo (click link > scroll through lowest price range > ...


3

I implemented something similar to the design described by @mookamafoob. My filters are divided into three categories, which are related hierarchically. Each filter setting indicates how many values will be available if it is selected; the values adjust dynamically as filters are selected. The screenshots below illustrate this design: As you can see, ...


3

Wiki, Files, People, Projects, Books, and Everything -> "Sources" Location, Time, Type -> "Filters" or "Context"


3

One technique that I don't see implemented as often as I'd like is default search preferences by user. For example, when searching Yelp, I always want my default to be "open now", "biking distance", "highest rated"... but the site has no option to remember that, so I waste a lot of time selecting the same options over and over. A version of that which ...


3

Are we talking about sorting only or filtering too? Sorting tends to be handled by clicking on the column header and, for simplicity's sake, only one column can be sorted on. Your example sounds more like a case for applying filters. You might want to look at sites like eBay or LoveFilm for inspiration. They both offer tools for sifting through high ...


3

I suggest the following rules for the check-box filters: No need for "Show All" option. Instead, add a "clear selections" link under the facet's label whenever 1 or more options are selected. Sort the options in each facet by their number of results. Don't show options that have 0 results. Show up to 3-5 options for each facet, and a "show more options" ...


3

NewEgg has a good solution for at least part of this problem. They created some range sliders that are used for multiple purposes... You could certainly use that for the ratings filter. The other thought is to hide the options for which there are 0 matches, such as the top 3 options of "resource type".


3

Consider this layout: The search field is clearly visible, distinct, and the filtered results appear below, to be chosen by the user. For multi select, you can use the tag approach: Both examples are part of an open source Javascript plugin, Chosen.


3

I think your concern that updating the result in real time would distract the users is not actually a serious issue - in general, most interfaces strive to be as quick and responsive as possible (see Amazon shopping interfaces, eBay filtering interfaces, or Google instant search). The real issue is whether or not you can actually be responsive while ...


3

It sounds like you want to apply the faceted navigation pattern to a photo gallery. Take a look at the Quince UI patterns library for some examples of how this would play out. The Epicurious recipe browser looks a lot like what you're looking for, though instead of people's photos, they are glamour shots of food ;-). It allows the user to select the facets ...


3

Here are some suggestions Auto complete and suggested results in the search results: I assume your site has a search feature and you can use auto complete as well as suggested results to help users find what they are looking for. To quote this uxmag article When users type in a search field, it’s nice to give them some suggested autocompleted ...



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