With all the richness and sheer amount of data we can now provide for people
"searching" for things along with all kinds of great widgets to refine and
filter all that stuff to sift out what they actually want – how much should
we expect them to actually do? And when in terms of that process? Seems so
much pressure to allow a user to input a 1 or 2 word search term and expect
the system to return the perfect return in one interaction. That "people won't
go beyond one click to get what they want".
Wondering if this is in fact the case or are we short changing the user in
their willingness to engage in the experience.
We are examining 2 strategies for a business directory site with the usual
'enter a business name or category' or pick one from a canned list.
1. Refine at the Landing Page-Limit the Universe - Make the user do
more up front on the landing page to tell the system what they want before
they receive a set of results in the hope that the result set returned will
have what they want . . . hopefully first in the list. May not always work
and requires a lot from the system and taxonomy.
2. Always Give them the Universe- user can enter any term and the
system will return *everything* it has that's relevant. Then provide
useful and intuitive (hopefully) tools and taxonomies to find what they
want. Requires more cognitive effort from the user.
My gut is that as that users can be engaged more in the process as long as
the feedback from a user input is meaningful and is presented with intuitive
ways to filter or explore what they see with clear paths so the user knows
where they are and can back up and try different paths. Seems sites are
becoming more App-like and often demand a higher level of engagement to reap
more rewards. And that people can embrace that engagement. Thanks!