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This is going a bit tricky to explain so I hope it's clear.

On our website, we provide article types that users can download for use in software.

You start on an overview page that displays series of articles in a grid view. We combine articles in series to avoid having a lot of articles in one view that might not be relevant for you. Articles then contain article subtypes that are slightly different from each other. Those article types are downloadable items you can use in a certain type of software.

So the structure is like this:

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

The page looks like this

mockup

download bmml source

If you click on a serie, it will expand and show the underlying articles (a bit like how Google Images does it). You click on an article and you will be redirected to another page showing all subtypes of articles and their properties.

Now my question: If a user searches for an exact article type on the series overview page, how do I show the result? If there's a direct match, should I redirect the user to the article type page? Or should I highlight the serie (and article) the article type was found in?

1

The search result shows the most relevant result for the query. Regardless of page level. For example, if the user searches "AI", a result listing limited to series "Technology" is not very useful since the user will have to click the series and search again where exactly inside the series does "AI" appear.

If "AI" has hits on the series, article and article type levels, you should list them all out in order of relevance. Just create a different look to differentiate them visually.

If the goal is to always find an article type, build that into the result relevancy, always showing type first. Or section out the results into facets for each level.

Showing all levels allows users to either find the exact article type or explore a higher level where the article type is located. It's up to them how they want to proceed.

Visual differentiation example from NPR: enter image description here

0

To me it depends on what the result of the search query is. Especially if the idea is that the user always should end up with an article type.

  1. If the result is only the article type I would redirect directly to the page where all the information about the article type is viewable. To me it seems that the user did exactly know where it should end up. In this option, make sure that it is very easy for the user to go back to the search to change the query if the result is not correct.

  2. If the result are multiple Series or Articles with article types that are a hit for the search query I would highlight the results and try to do a preview of the exact article + article type that is the hit. (I hope that's clear). In this way you can make a distinction for the user where the result is a direct hit on the article type and where it is not.

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