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I am working on a job board site at the moment. We have a sidebar filter system for our users to filter their results. We have only just implemented testing to track what our users are searching (though the site and the search has been live for over 6 months). The sidebar filter design was implemented based on seek.com.au (and was a decision made by the product manager rather than the design team).

We are now looking at converting our sidebar filters into a filter bar across the top of the site, without having much data to base this decision on. The argument I am being faced with is that other job sites like www.careerone.com.au have a bigger UX budget than us and "must have done the user testing to choose this kind of design". I have said that I would much rather wait until we have data that shows us conclusively that the sidebar filters are not being used for searches, than a knee-jerk change based on what others have implemented.

So I guess my question is - does anyone have experience with designing searches that have been successful, and what methods did you use to test them? What type of search would work best in this situation?

I'm totally open to new ideas and am not drawn specifically to one or the other. I just feel a bit lost on how to get my team to listen to reason before changing our design.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Personally, if it is for Landing page, then the top filter would work really well. But I'm guessing this is for Listing Page? It could work well too in the listing page (maybe stick on top kind of filter?), would be interesting to see the result of your testing. The one problem that come to my mind if it is on the top on listing page, is how limited it is in term of the amount of filtering I can do. I guess you can do it if you don't have too many filters, or you have it hidden until someone hover on it.

But even then, that would be depending on your target audience. Someone younger and more tech savvy would have no problem hovering and searching for filters, however, the not so savvy one would be deterred if it is not available to them right away.

I was testing a product (not for job listing, but have similar search function) with paper prototype prior and decided to use the side bar because of my target audience (not savvy people, didn't work with computer much).

Good luck with your test!

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