I'm working for a company redesigning the searching interaction for a business application. Currently the only way for users to search through a huge dataset is through a collection of about 15 filters. The quantity of filters is proving to be very frustrating for the users because it is hard to locate the desired filter, on top of that, once the user filters the list down it is not clear at a glance what the list is being filtered by.
There are a couple of ideas being proposed, with an advanced search being one of those ideas. I have been researching how other websites are handling advanced searching to determine if there is any pattern that should be replicated. I have found that most websites begin with one or two search input fields and an advanced option, as seen here in the screenshot of indeed.com.
If you search using these two fields you are brought to the search results page where you are provided with a list of filters.
If you search with the advanced option, you are provided with a list of criteria that is the same as the list of filters. After you fill in the fields and click search, you are brought to the search results page. Now the filters that you entered a value into in the advanced search form have been remove from the list and are displayed in a new refined search box.
Is this the standard pattern when creating an advanced searching option for a website?
Search screen using the basic search:
Search screen using the advanced search: