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Currently our search results are truncated at 90 characters. We are discussing adding the option for users to "read more" with a drop down to the rest of the summary/search text.

I've certainly seen this implementation within content but never within search results. Thoughts?

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If your content is indexed for search, consider using the search engine's native ability to deliver a bolded snippet where the search terms are bolded. This allows the user to see the content that contains their search terms and gives them clarity as to why any given result was returned. This also eliminates the need for them to read more in order to understand why that result was returned. Two lines of snippet can be returned, which is generally enough to give the user a good idea of why they're seeing the result, but isn't so much that the results UI is cluttered with extraneous text.

That said, I have used the approach of loading only a small bit of text along with a more... link for the user to click to load more text. The document content was not indexed, so the search only queried across the indexed document metadata. The primary drawback to this approach (which is why we eventually phased it out in favor of indexed snippets) is that the user could receive a result and have no idea why it was returned to them. In the search sphere, this can quickly lead to lack of confidence in the search system.

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It looks like a very good idea. The only problem that I see is that the rest of the summary/search text might be too long. Opening a summary of a 1000 or more characters on the search result, will be very confusing and inefficient.

I suggest that when the user clicks on "read more", display only another 200-300 characters. If more text exists, the user will have to click the link.

Also, give users the option to close the additional text.

  • Thanks for the response. If more text exists, how would indicate it? In the initital design we put eliipses so I wouldn't want to repeat. My concern is our design within the mobile/responsive environment. Initially, we had thought of just expanded the character limit a bit so we don't force the users to click twice. – Anna Mar 14 '16 at 14:06

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