Hot answers tagged

85

Spell it out to the user. You don't want to leave them guessing so I would recommend you add a simple addition to your UI. Note the change of language in the search box. By saying choose location you are more or less saying "do it here", whereby now it is clear it is just one of two options.


85

I have a personal hatred towards websites which clear content from the Search bar after I hit Search. Here's why: It is completely unnecessary to clear the content out. There are multiple chances that the user might want to add something to that query. For example, if I search for American Psycho and I find that it's a movie with amazing ratings and I want ...


61

They both mean the same thing according to the free dictionary, but I think there are subtle differences. Definition of "Look up" Searching is a more general term -- you may not be sure what you will find when you search, or how many things you will find in your result set, but looking up is something you do when you know a record exists and you want to ...


61

If you clear the box, you're taking away control from the user. While you may seem like you're doing them a favor, you're robbing them of context for what they just typed in. When you type things into a command prompt, the previous command you typed is still there. Although you state that it's a long ID that the user probably just pasted in have you ...


60

I would strongly suggest you go with the first option but with a change. The second option introduces a programatic step (selecting from the dropdown) that the user should not have to make - There is no requirement for this programatic step to operate as a 'safety catch' so it shouldn't be there. The first option has a semantic problem - it's difficult to ...


52

Just to think outside the box I've decided to paste a radical suggestion to this, as I have called it "map-tap" problem :) Imagine if a low opacity touch gesture image appeared over the map either for a few seconds and then disappear or it would stay there, lingering like a ghost, hinting to the user what to do. When a user taps the map it would disappear. ...


41

I think the processes are like those. Best interaction requires less cognitive load, assuming left-to-right reading and acting pattern.


34

They arrange the items depending on what you search for. I.E. searching for 'Tax' is likely to return many News results, so that is shown alongside 'web': Searching for 'Mexico Flag' is likely to return lots of images, so they set 'Images' as the next tab: Whereas searching for 'Bristol' (A city in England) returns 'maps' as the next tab: So ...


33

From my experience, the answer is... It depends! I work for a recipe site and we launched a new site last year which had a whole redesign. We used to have a smaller search box and users interacted with it completely differently to a larger one. Looking at the data that was captured on peoples searching terms, the big change was that when they had a smaller ...


23

The best thing is a relevance & date algorithm. The 'new' and 'relevant' should pop in front of the 'old' and 'as relevant'. Actually, the age of the news is part of the relevance.


23

There is a question you need to answer (which can be stated in different ways): How big is your dataset? Is "everything" a finite set? Is it sensible that the user might want to see everything? If your dataset is small or finite, or it's sensible that the user would be able to deal with everything, then you could return everything. If your dataset is ...


23

The system should help the user but should not restrict the user. If the user indeed wants to search something, the user should be able to. Warning the user that this will result in losing information and afterwards giving the user the opportunity to copy his or her work (or maybe saving a concept version of it for later review?) should then be the best ...


22

Some sites have "near miss" matches after their exact matches. If a user has exhausted everything precisely matching their criteria but is still looking, there's a clear line and an explanation that this is the end of the results, then "near misses" sorted by how close to matching they are. "Unspecified" would rank higher in this formula than "specified ...


21

You could de-emphasize the search field, e.g. by not showing it by default. Just say "Choose a location" in the head of the screen, and have a magnifying glass button that pops up the search field for people who want to enter an address. Something like this: Even if you don't go with this approach, you might want to adjust your text sizes and wording. "...


19

Have you considered moving the map, rather than moving the "pin"? Scrolling a map is a common action in most map applications, if you keep the reticule static and move the map underneath it, the user can target their desired position. The text in the box should update as the user scrolls. This might allow you to get away with no additional help messaging. ...


19

Nested blocks in a vertical layout This pattern tested very well with our users. It uses common language to explain what you are looking for and allows any level of complex grouping where individual blocks can be moved around, changed from AND to OR, or deleted. This level of clarity does take up quite a bit of space but not too much for most simple ...


19

With regard to English in general, "Search for Flights" and "Find Flights" would work equally well. "Find Flights" is subtly optimistic that there are flights that match the user's criteria. That may or may not be good. In desktop user interfaces, Find and Search are distinct commands: A Find command scans the current content and highlights content that ...


15

One of the factors to be considered in this is performance. If it takes the system a few extra seconds to bring up the complete result set than I would steer away from it. And even if the time it takes to bring up both screens is the same, I would go with Option 1 because the blank table acts as a type of prompt for the user to enter in some sort of search ...


15

I did a quick check on how Google and Bing handle this and their flow is to just ignore the search request if there is no search value entered and keep the user in the same page. While that does make sense since the user might be confused if search results are contrary to what he expected and if he gets some random results he might be confused as in his ...


15

TL;DR: Both Both of the methods you've described work well, so include both and let the user pick the one which suits them. Exploratory vs Known-Item seeking Rosenfeld et al describe two main types of seeking: Exploratory seeking and Known-item seeking The A-Z list method suits exploratory seeking, where the user isn't certain about the course they are ...


14

You buttons should always say what they do. Avoid vague terms and, most especially, do not confuse the user by having a single button do two things! Also, giving the user two text fields can cause issue - if I only type something into the second box, what happens? UX Movement has an article on naming buttons: Why Your Form Buttons Should Never Say 'Submit'. ...


13

I have been using this control and it has helped me bringing in clarity to any kind of search criteria to my end users. This is a javascript plugin by DocumentCloud and its called as Visual-Search. Its a stunning plugin and by far the best way to represent searches. You add as many filters as possible, it still is very clean and clear for the end users to ...


13

If the filter is mandatory, choose the most frequent search as the default. You can try a scoped search dropdown before the search input field. This way the search button is Active from the beginning. Lead with what your metrics show that the majority of users will want to search by, and don't make them pause to choose a filter. The tradeoff If you have ...


12

Many people have only a fuzzy awareness of the distinction between "The Web" and Google / Yahoo / whatever their homepage is set to. Therefore, such people often use the Google search box (or whatever) to enter URLs rather than the browser address bar. Google may have noticed this behaviour when developing the combined URL/search box in Chrome.


12

Since users are likely to see the entry form first, how about using the placeholder text for this? "Enter location or just pick from map ..."


12

I'd make a custom control which shows just the symbol when collapsed and the symbol + text when expanded. This way both concerns (about space and symbol choice) turn less important, because when the dropdown is expanded, it's supposed that the intended action is just to make the selection, so you don't care about it taking more or less space, then you could ...


11

There is a different between Auto-Complete and Auto-Suggest. Auto-Complete happens within the input box where you type and you can press either enter or "right-arrow-key" to accept it. Auto-Suggest list appears as a multiple suggestion list in the form of drop-down. To make use of auto-suggest items, you have to click "down-arrow-key" or mouse click to ...


11

In your situation, I like option 2 better. I think what you are really building is a 'Practices View'. Text based search is just one feature of this 'Practices View'. It looks like you have filtering, sorting and a few other features as well. As you mention in your question, option 2 also removes the need for the user to enter a search term before they ...


11

Teach the user how to use your feature. Show them example queries to illustrate what is possible. This can be done in some sort of short onboarding experience for new users, or perhaps when the input is in focus. A feature that is not discoverable might as well not exist. I would venture to say that this problem is not one that is solvable by simply ...


11

I remember GitHub had something like what Mike M suggested for their search. I just noticed that it's changed, and what they do now is make the selection a part of their autocomplete-like menu: I imagine the default selection at the top is what they believe to be the most common, which makes sense to search in the current repo by default. An advantage I ...


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