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I have a search function that lists different search forms under links: enter image description here

Each link goes to a form with slightly different parameters eg:

enter image description here

and

enter image description here

All forms contain a common 'title' field and, as you can see, some forms have other parameters overlapping.

This method of searching seems very inefficient. It seems much more logical to have a single search screen.

My question: what would be a better way of organising this search? Would an approach which surfaced the ubiquitous keyword field and offered advanced scoping options be a better way forward, or is the current method just as usable?

  • What are the problems your users are having? (If any.) For example are they power users and want all fields to be there? Are they missing fields as well? Or don't they fill in some fields / trying to fill in as less as possible? Can they easily retry after the results didn't proof to be enough? Do they want to easily find all different kinds (projects, meetings, processes, etc.) for a single owner? – Lode Sep 1 '15 at 21:10
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Do it like google. Give people a single search field to put in a search phrase and search in all the fields. Give precedence to hits in fields you think are more important and try to prioritize them based on likelihood to be what the user wanted.

Additionally provide an advanced search button for people that actually need the form. The upsite is that the form translates into a search query, for example simplify a search engine site:ux.stackexchange.com which makes power users happy and non-power users don't get overwhelmed. In your case I would allow searches like this: "over due type:projectdocs meetingdate:yesterday".

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Ask user to search on a simple text box. Show the best results and allow user to filter results based on the conditions you have

  • Yes, a single search field. All your additional parameters should be presented as filters on the results page. Just like most other searches. Why make your users jump through hoops on your site that don't exist on the other sites they use? – Ken Mohnkern Sep 4 '15 at 12:31

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