eBay's double search form

20 Mar 2006 - 5:01pm
8 years ago
1 reply
583 reads
krazlh
2006

Hello all

Just wondering if anyone can tell me a little about eBay's two search forms
on their frontpage. Since they are practically identical and are quite
close to each other, how do users respond to them? There aren't that many
websites with similar structure except Amazon.com but the two search forms
serves different purposes and are labeled clearly(one saids search
Amazon.com and other reads A9 Web Search).

I started using eBay extensively about a few months ago and the feature
confused me even as an intermediate computer user. My usual process in
starting out to browse the ebay site is:
1) Type in the URL
2) Wait for it to load
3) The page start loading and the header appears first with the search
field. I click the search field and start typing in what I want to look
for.

The two search fieilds create a little confusion for me at the beginning. A
lot of times when I type in unfamiliar brand names, I tend to look at my
keyboard or a magazine to make sure I am getting the spelling right. I then
look at the screen and is ready to press ENTER only to discover my search
string has been break into half, one at the upper right search field and one
at the center area. It turns out my cursor will automatically jumped to the
center search field when the page has finished loading entirely, ignoring
the fact that I am already typing into the search field at the upper right.
It happened to me more than 10 times now. Does anyone has a similar
experience?

The upper right search field is important in pages such as My eBay, where
the center search field aren't visible. Other than that, while I am
browsing, the center search field is clearly visible and serves as a better
navigation tool. On Amazon.com, the search field is located in the middle
but at a slightly upper region, but it is clearly visible on every page and
works similiarly as the center search tool on eBay. What are your take on
this? Is there any research which supports having two almost identical
search field located close to each other on the site's main page?

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Loretta Hui
http://www.lorettahui.com

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Comments

21 Mar 2006 - 4:31am
stauciuc
2006

Something similar happens to me with Yahoo Mail all the time.
I want to compose a new message, and before the entire page loads, I start
typing in the recipient ('To:..'). But then when the page finishes loading,
the focus moves to the message body on its own, in the middle of my typing,
leaving me with something like:

To: ixd
Body:adiscuss

As a simple user, I can't possibly understand why that would ever happen.
But that's just me.

As to the 2 searchboxes on eBay: I would only use one of the textboxes. The
other one seems redundant.
But it could be there for accesibility, I guess (I'm thinking textmode)...
Nope, it couldn't. They use frames.

I must point out that, as I don't have an e-bay account, I tried to sign up,
and the mandatory fields (almost all of them :|) where not marked as
mandatory. So I got the good old red "you're stupid" message...No, I'm
wrong, they did say 'optional' somewhere so I should have guessed all the
others were mandatory. But I'm stupid, so I didn't ;)
..I'm thinking maybe we shouldn't trust e-bay for the perfect user
experience..But that's just me.

..So I tried to see how it is on my-ebay, but I couldn't because I don't
have a credit card. Sorry.
..Maybe they just use the same header(frame) everywhere, even though it only
makes sense in certain areas.

I'm sure someone else will clarify this..:)

On 3/21/06, Loretta Hui <krazlh at hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
>
>
> Hello all
>
> Just wondering if anyone can tell me a little about eBay's two search
> forms
> on their frontpage. Since they are practically identical and are quite
> close to each other, how do users respond to them? There aren't that many
> websites with similar structure except Amazon.com but the two search forms
> serves different purposes and are labeled clearly(one saids search
> Amazon.com and other reads A9 Web Search).
>
> I started using eBay extensively about a few months ago and the feature
> confused me even as an intermediate computer user. My usual process in
> starting out to browse the ebay site is:
> 1) Type in the URL
> 2) Wait for it to load
> 3) The page start loading and the header appears first with the search
> field. I click the search field and start typing in what I want to look
> for.
>
> The two search fieilds create a little confusion for me at the
> beginning. A
> lot of times when I type in unfamiliar brand names, I tend to look at my
> keyboard or a magazine to make sure I am getting the spelling right. I
> then
> look at the screen and is ready to press ENTER only to discover my search
> string has been break into half, one at the upper right search field and
> one
> at the center area. It turns out my cursor will automatically jumped to
> the
> center search field when the page has finished loading entirely, ignoring
> the fact that I am already typing into the search field at the upper
> right.
> It happened to me more than 10 times now. Does anyone has a similar
> experience?
>
> The upper right search field is important in pages such as My eBay, where
> the center search field aren't visible. Other than that, while I am
> browsing, the center search field is clearly visible and serves as a
> better
> navigation tool. On Amazon.com, the search field is located in the middle
> but at a slightly upper region, but it is clearly visible on every page
> and
> works similiarly as the center search tool on eBay. What are your take on
> this? Is there any research which supports having two almost identical
> search field located close to each other on the site's main page?
>
> Thank you.
>
> Sincerely,
> Loretta Hui
> http://www.lorettahui.com
>
> _________________________________________________________________
> Designer Mail isn't just fun to send, it's fun to receive. Use special
> stationery, fonts and colors.
>
> http://join.msn.com/?pgmarket=en-ca&page=byoa/prem&xAPID=1994&DI=1034&SU=http://hotmail.com/enca&HL=Market_MSNIS_Taglines
> Start enjoying all the benefits of MSN(r) Premium right now and get the
> first two months FREE*.
>
>
>
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