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 ...


60

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 ...


60

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 ...


51

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. ...


50

Sometimes things exist not because they still make sense, but because their presence is an affordance -- i.e. it works not because it's good, but because the visitor understands what it is, what it does, and how to use it, because they've been inculcated over years with this knowledge. The "I'm Feeling Lucky" button is a grand example of this, because as ...


44

No matter how perfect your site hierarchy and navigation is, some users won't understand it. Or they don't want to learn it. For those users, a search box is paramount, because that's the primary way they use the web. To them search is navigation. Rather than exclude those users from your site, leave in the search box. It doesn't hurt the usability or ...


40

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 ...


30

Generally typeahead/autocomplete is instant, and to avoid confusion I'd recommend sticking with the standard of autocompleting instantly after a single character. For no reason other than convention I'd suggest keeping an instant, one character autocomplete; every search bar I have within reach acts this way, including Google.com, Google Chrome, iTunes, ...


24

Taking all the nuances into an account I still think that you should not remove the search functionality, but make search field smaller instead (or change it somehow so it still be functional but within a lesser space), so visitors who would like to use it will still be able to do it. An example:


24

Perhaps a hybrid approach would make sense. What I'm thinking would be to link the delay to the number of characters already entered, with a longer delay for fewer characters. If a user has only typed 'K', they're probably going to type a lot more, so an instant suggestion would return more results (less likely to have their target at the top), risk more ...


24

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

Now considering these two things: the low percentage of searches per visit and the queries being used I lean to the idea removing the search functionality altogether to un-clutter the navigation bar (the search function takes up 25% of the navigation width). My question: is this reasoning sane? Or am I overlooking something? The Search feature doesn't ...


23

Interestingly, the button costs google up to $110 million per year. In 2007, Google search boss Marissa Mayer estimated that 1% of all Google searches go through the I'm Feeling Lucky button – skipping Google's search results pages entirely. That meant that Google showed ZERO ads (and therefore got ZERO ad clicks) on 1% of all Google search queries. ...


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. "...


20

That really depends on the users and on what they are typing. Typing on a physical keyboard is significantly faster than on a touch device. So the question then is what the average WPM typing speed of the average user on your system is, and then work backwards from there. Let's say that it is 25 WPM. Typically a word is considered 5 characters long, so ...


19

In short: Depends on the context. If the site belongs to a business: Very important. I'm not aware of evidence suggesting the your premise that search boxes are only used by developers and testers is true. I would argue that there is little point of having a generic Google search box displayed on your page, unless your business model relies on your site ...


19

Lots of sites have problems with too many filters for search. Most sites offer a basic and more advanced filter options - these need to be carefully researched to identify what the basic research criteria should be. Then you have to carefully design the filter to fit each criteria. There is something of an art to this. I do think in general it is best to go ...


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

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 ...


18

Yes, its a convention. If you take a look at big and heavy traffic sites like Amazon or Ebay, you will see this behaviour. You see everything of a list unless you start filtering by checking a filter option. And no filter is preselected/checked at start. Make sure not to forget a clear filters option. At some point you could filter so heavily, that no ...


18

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 ...


17

Yes, this is excellent practice. It can even improve the responsiveness of your application, because doing the actual search on every key press can cause delays in itself. I have build a component (that we're using all over the place for this and similar purposes) that basically sets two times: a minimum time to wait for more input, and a maximum time from ...


16

A bit of data, albeit a little old, from the venerable Jakob Nielsen: Our usability studies show that more than half of all users are search-dominant, about a fifth of the users are link-dominant, and the rest exhibit mixed behavior. (Search Usability, July 1997) Unless that number has changed dramatically over the last decade, a good number of users are ...


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