Search select: after or before the search box?

10 Nov 2009 - 1:24pm
5 years ago
2 replies
769 reads
viniciuskrause
2009

Hi everyone!

I'm a Interaction Designer from a company called Midia Digital, at the city
of Curitiba, Brazil. This is the first time that I'm trying to write to this
list in English, so I hope all of you can understand what I'm saying.

My doubt is:

When we put a search box in a website with many different sections, which
one is better?

To put a select list before the search box (like Amazon does) or just put a
simple search box and organize the search results in tabs or filters
results (like Facebook does).

Talking like a user, I prefer the second option. It seems faster to me and
requires less effort to think in which section of the site the content that
I want could be.

Is there some specific application to each kind of search?

--
Vinícius Krause

tel. (55) 41 3284-5474
(55) 41 8865-4982

http://www.webkrause.com/vinicius

Comments

11 Nov 2009 - 4:17am
William Hudson
2009

Vinícius -

Certainly no problems understanding your English, so well done!

You can of course do this both ways at the same time. Have the search selector before the search field *and* give them a guided / faceted search interface on the results page. I think you would always show the guided / faceted search with results across all areas, but if they have selected a specific area (say 'books' on Amazon), that would be the focus of the main results listing. (BTW, Amazon *doesn't* do it this way - if you select 'books' you get just books. If you decide that you also want to see DVDs, you have to search again.)

Regards,

William Hudson
Syntagm Ltd
Design for Usability
UK 01235-522859
World +44-1235-522859
US Toll Free 1-866-SYNTAGM
mailto:william.hudson at syntagm.co.uk
http://www.syntagm.co.uk
skype:williamhudsonskype

Syntagm is a limited company registered in England and Wales (1985).
Registered number: 1895345. Registered office: 10 Oxford Road, Abingdon OX14 2DS.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com [mailto:discuss-
> bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of vinicius krause
> Sent: 10 November 2009 7:25 PM
> To: discuss at ixda.org
> Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Search select: after or before the search box?
>
> Hi everyone!
>
> I'm a Interaction Designer from a company called Midia Digital, at the
> city
> of Curitiba, Brazil. This is the first time that I'm trying to write to
> this
> list in English, so I hope all of you can understand what I'm saying.
...

11 Nov 2009 - 5:05am
Fredrik Matheson
2005

I've found this option to be quite efficient:

onClick, reveal a box around the search field and search button. Below the
search field, add a list of useful filters (can vary across contexts).

Pressing Enter/the search button = a search w/o pre-filtering
Selecting one of the filters = easy pre-filtering with minimal hand/eye
coordination work. You can also add keyboard shortcuts for the search or
tell the searcher that you can go up/down in the list using the up/down
arrows. If you do, make sure pressing the Enter key actuates the search
filter they have selected, not the unfiltered search.

When the search result page is presented, make sure to display the
pre-selected filter prominently so that you can re-configure the search on
that page.

Here are a few interesting links on the matter:

- Stephanie Lemieux's presentation: Designing for faceted search:
http://www.uie.com/articles/faceted_search
- Daniel Tunkelang's book on faceted search:
http://thenoisychannel.com/faceted-search-the-book/
- Marti Hearst's book, Search User Interfaces:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0521113792/

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