Anybody out there ever built a interface that helps users build an advanced
search query? I am currently working on a site that has over 5 million
articles, and search is the primary way users find this information. A lot
of these users are librarians and they know how to do complex Boolean
searches on various meta data fields. Currently, the search engine is
optimized for this type of user, which is completely ignoring the user who
does not know how to construct these complex queries. They have built a
"query builder" interface that allows non-librarian users to construct
complex Boolean searches on multiple meta data fields, but nobody uses it
because it is terrible.
It is an interesting situation because users actually do use the advanced
search on this site, which is unusual. I know we need to optimize for how
users use simple search as well, and this is also being addressed. But
creating a query builder that allowed non-librarians to do complex meta data
field searches would be really beneficial to this user base.
Any body designed something like this, or could point me to some examples of
such an interface?