Site search best practices by Louis Rosenfeld

Kurt Kragh Sørensen's picture

Louis Rosenfeld has made a list of 13 with principles that he thinks is worth considering about search.

Here is the list:

  1. Keep the initial query entry UI simple
  2. Make sure it's persistent in location on pages, and that it's on all pages
  3. Support query refinement (and avoid "advanced search" UIs)
  4. Repeat a query back in the refinement UI and display # of search results
  5. Provide refinement options that fit the need (e.g., don't provide options that narrow result sets when 0 results have been retrieved)
  6. Show just enough information—and the right information—per search result to enable users to get the information they need (either on the results page or by clicking through to a result page)
  7. If you're searching multiple content areas, see if it pays to expose these differentiations; if so, what order should results be presented in? (federated search)
  8. Support result sorting (e.g., chronological)—if it helps
  9. Teach your search engine to recognize regularly occurring queries for specific types of information (e.g., names of people, products, unique IDs) and configure search results accordingly
  10. Ask for feedback on search results pages—both quantitative and qualitative (e.g., "rate you satisfaction with what you found; if not satisfied, what would you have liked to find?")
  11. Learn what your most frequent queries are; then test their performance regularly
  12. Learn what queries fail most frequently, and fix them
  13. Manually create recommended search results for the most common queries

Read the full article here and find a lot of good comments



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