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There is this old article from 2011 that says 90% of People Do Not Use CTRL+F (based on actual user research). About every single recent article I could find uses this article as the basis:

We are currently building another online shopping platform and I've often come into a discussion with my colleagues about whether to display all information or partially hide it to make it more aesthetically pleasing and not overloaded with infos.

But the argument against the hiding would be that for very technical products every little detail is important. So it makes sense to display it all openly so users can quickly scan for it, even if it makes the product detail page a little full.


Anyway, now I got sent this old article with a "see, told ya ;)" and I would really like to know if anyone has more recent data in any form, even some small sample test. Because from my own & some other users' behavior as well as from some of the articles above I know how much difference searching for key words like this can make.

That's why I would really like to have arguments for not hiding key information under a "show more" button, so that expert users are not hindered in their efficiency.

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  • Most sites have a "search" feature for a reason
    – musefan
    Sep 21, 2021 at 14:16
  • @musefan I don't think that's the same. A search feature lets you search for a product, the CTRL+F/browser search lets you search for specific passages in the product text. I specified it now in the title.
    – Big_Chair
    Sep 21, 2021 at 14:24
  • Yes, but we have the search feature so that we do not have to display every single piece of information about every single item all at the same time. People don't use "find" to search for items, they use the search feature. "Find" is nearly always useless for shopping because if you are in a position where the text is actually visible on the screen, then you probably already found what you was looking for. If you have "key information" that the user may want to filter on, then make that part of your search/filter function, don't rely on "find".
    – musefan
    Sep 21, 2021 at 14:29
  • @musefan No one's saying to rely on it as a main feature. But you seem to underestimate how complex some products can be. Try looking for components for sim-racing. It's not a "this dress is available in red or blue" type of information. It's a table with 30 rows of compatibility data. You can't put all of that into filters. My point is that for complex products it can be very useful to enable expert users to find the target word quickly and check if it is available with this product, rather than having to go through the whole table.
    – Big_Chair
    Sep 21, 2021 at 14:52
  • 2
    I work for medical product companies and use ctrl + F a lot. Today a website is not just the page of a company. The biggest use I make of ctrl + F is when the technical specifications of a product or machine are available as an online pdf and it opens in a new tab. Same situation with magazines or catalogues pdf.
    – Danielillo
    Sep 21, 2021 at 15:18

2 Answers 2

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Product page

Hiding information behind the show more button is quite inappropriate if it's a page dedicated to the product.

The user already decided to open the page, why not let him or her see the full information about the product? It seems to be a common mistake that frequently repeats on poorly designed websites.

The two most popular websites of the same thematics don't hide such information on the product pages. It is by itself a decent reason not to hide it on your website as well.

Other pages

If it's not a product page, there is no reason to display all available information since it may clutter the webpage.

The usage of the searching feature of the web browser doesn't seem to be an important factor since a separate custom searching facility should be provided on the website anyway.

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I do use it a lot and I've seen my users using it as well, that is why we are thinking about a redesign from tabs to placeholders on a single long list of data so you can ctrl+f to the field you want to get (we have employee cards that have quite many fields on them).

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  • How do people know what exactly to type in the search field, i.e. how do you avoid disorienting trial and error? If you list the fields why not make them links? Jan 17, 2022 at 12:00
  • We don't list fields, we only have the plan to change previous tabs into placeholders - as you click, you get scrolled to that field group. Also as we register employee data it is quite clear what fields to ctrl+f for. It is more difficult to figure out which tab they are on. Jan 20, 2022 at 10:29

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