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I have a product category list on the left side of my store and I can't remove it.

What options do I have in promoting the search bar so that more people use it?

I added action text inside the search bar - "find exactly what you are looking for" but I am searching for other options to enhance the search bar's visibility (except graphical modification).

  • I'm confused...is the search field inside the category list? And what do you mean by "it's up too short to gather any meaningful data"? Could you rephrase your question to make it clearer? – Chairman Meow Feb 25 '14 at 21:50
  • I'm also confused. Are you trying to force your users to use the search bar, or are you attempting to increase the usage of the search bar? – Majo0od Aug 25 '14 at 12:15
  • Could you perhaps include a screenshot or drawing of the current state? – Tim FitzGerald Sep 24 '14 at 13:08
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Remember that category menus and search boxes are all just result restriction tools and routes to content, things users use to acheive goals on your site.

Assuming it is actually visible and sensibly placed, users might be using the search but fiding it fails to help them acheive their goals as quickly as they can with the category search. No amount of focus tricks like bright colours will help here, in fact it will be a hinderence if the search function is poor.

If they are able to find things more quickly using your category search why attempt to force them over to search box?

I would:

Ask my users why they choose the category over the search or why they choose not to use the search.

Then use my resopurces to improve the prefered method and if the users are put off the search because of its poor functionality then improve the search function.

If they just find it easier to use the categories then let them.

The best way to focus their attention is by making sure it is useful to them and helps them acheive goals with a minimum of fuss.

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You have asked that we not offer graphical modification suggestions, which I assume also means css modification which render graphical effects. So ignoring the options of shrinking the font size within the css classes that control the tree, and lightening their forecolors to less prominent grays, I'm left with content based solutions which will probably be less successful.

Perhaps you should add a "recent searches" listbox under your search textbox, implying to users that others are making use of search as their primary tool for exploring your site. A little javascript animation to fetch (or manufacture) the latest searches every few seconds and update the listbox would cause screen-motion, really driving this message home.

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The new default theme in PrestaShop 1.6 offered an acceptable solution:

Search bar in middle above the category links

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