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So i'm designing the interface of an ecommerce website that acts as a platform for stores, and naturally, there's a search box in the navigation menu.

For each of the elements in the navigation bar, there's a dropdown menu with the subcategories (e.g. Electronics -> Phone, Tablets, etc.).

One of the elements in the navigation bar is called stores, and the dropdown lists the stores per category.

If I want to allow people to search for a specific store, should I include a search box in the dropdown menu, or is the one in the navigation bar enough?

On the one hand, I want to avoid repeating the same element, but on the other, I want it to be real easy for users to find a specific store.

Thoughts?

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I'd suggest some similar to Amazon approach: a search bar, which let users constraint the search and then categories.
In the categories menu if you can't show them all, you can just an option like "See all categories", which could redirect to a new pages with more options to navegate those categories.

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  • Hey thanks, I see what you mean, and I thought of doing that. I've already added a 'view all' button in the dropdown menu. Would it be useless to add another search bar right beneath that? – Garvis Jan 12 '16 at 20:50
  • Maybe not useless, but not really necessary. You also have to consider conventions and mental models when designing a site of a particular kind -ecommerce here- in order to offer a natural flow for the user. If I'm searching for a particular product, let's say sennheiser headphones red edition I will use the search bar supposing that the search does its job well, and if Im searching for headphones in general I could go to that category nav-dropdown, and once I'm redirected, filter as I want with no constraints. – Alejandro Veltri Jan 12 '16 at 21:23
  • Adding a new search in inside each nav item, will add complexity to a control which is not usually used for that, and adds some question as "where are you showing the results?" , "the search is based on the options that Im seeing or on all possible options?" "what happen if the search gives no results, do you have to press a button to return to normal navigation list?" etc. – Alejandro Veltri Jan 12 '16 at 21:26
  • My upvote especially for your comments, you should incorporate them in your answer! – Adriano Repetti Jan 13 '16 at 10:06

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