Mobile Search Models

13 May 2009 - 7:56pm
7 years ago
4 replies
1280 reads
Melissa Cooper

Hi all,

I've been seriously thinking a lot about mobile search models and am
looking to crowd source interesting examples to check out.

Also, if there are any articles / papers you would recommend on the
topic, that would be great.

At the moment, it is my view to simplify this as much as possible.
I'm considering in the case that a user has multiple search criteria
that they input one and build on that query rather than complex
advanced searches. What are your thoughts?

I'm also trying not to be iPhone centric in my investigations, but
rather web based solutions that need to work across a diversity of
handsets and input types. (including iPhone! :))
Thank you in advance!


14 May 2009 - 4:41am
Omkar Shende

Hi Melissa,
I've worked on a similar product.
Assuming that you are looking at web search, below are my learnings with respect to Indian market -
1. You are right. Since it is for hand-held devices, the experience needs to be very simple. Users don't have the patient to choose from too many options. They want to type the query and click the button. The search engine / service should be intelligent enough to do the rest.
2. Faceted results help
3. As you are planning to support wider range of handsets, you cannot depend of things like auto complete / auto suggest, cause AJAX is not supported on all the handsets.
4. The description under every result is only referred to confirm the appropriateness of the result, hence avoid lengthy descriptions.
5. Not all the results pages are mobile phone friendly, in such cases if you strip off the unnecessary elements and display the page in a viewable manner then it is appreciated.
6. Avoid displaying more than 5 results per page. Long scrolls are not convenient on mobile devices (unless touch screens).

Hope you find this useful.

Omkar Shende

14 May 2009 - 8:18am
Melissa Cooper

Hi Omkar,
Yes that is really helpful. I really appreciated your comments on
results as over the last few days my thoughts have mostly focused on
inputs. (I'll progress eventually :))
Could you tell me more about the faceted implementation you referred
to? On the mobile platform, I was considering a simple search and
then enabling the addition of one criteria from the top of the
results in a pull menu. Is this the sort of thing you are thinking or
something else.
Thank you for taking the time to pull together a response. It is
great to hear the thoughts from others.

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Posted from the new

18 May 2009 - 8:24am


My team has also been trying to learn more about mobile search models.

We recently attended a great Mobile Webinar through adaptive path. Here is a link to view the slide show

Here are some great resources too!

Ultimate iPhone Stencil for Omnigraffle


iUI iPhone navigation (javascript)

jQuery (javascript)

TweenMax (actionscript)

Bruce Sterling speaks on the future of mobile

Hope this helps

15 May 2009 - 10:59pm
Omkar Shende

Hi Melissa,
We've observed that many handsets (in India) don't support pull menus and they are difficult to navigate too.
We've put links of the facets at the bottom of the results.
However, we haven't tried displaying a result based on every facet with a more link, so I don't have the comparative data.

Omkar Shende

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