We have a somewhat complex search form, where the user can add search fields which search in specific database fields only (the pattern known from e.g. Thunderbird message search, and many scientific databases, e.g. this library catalogue) and click some tri-state checkboxes for filtering the results. It has a "Clear input" button which resets it to its default state.
The search results are shown below the form, not on the next page. So, when the user clicks "Clear input", the search results from the last search are still visible.
Should the button also remove the results from the previous search? Does anybody have data on what the user expectations are in this case? Also, what is more helpful for the user?
I think that clearing the whole page sounds more logical, but in case the user was unhappy with the last search, she might want to be reminded what went wrong when constructing a new query from scratch, and having the old results in front of her will be helpful.
What would you implement, and why?
Update This is a screenshot of the actual search form. Disregard the looks and unclear wording, we still haven't started doing any design, this is a junior's developer placing functional elements on a screen in a way which makes sense to him personally :) The
- labeled buttons are what is going to become tristate checkboxes.