Internet sites are becoming more and more complex. Currently, thanks in large part to content marketing and seo, even the sites of small companies can have more than 300-400 pages with different types of data and sections. Unfortunately, most companies do not have a usability specialist or someone who understands this issue. If you take into account these two factors, then with the increase in the number of pages it becomes more difficult for the user to get to the necessary information. The simple way out is to equip the sites with a really convenient and modern search. But when we get to the development of search, we are faced with the fact that there is no understanding what criteria need to be considered and what functions need to be added. In this article, I have compiled the main criteria of modern search.
The search should:
- Process the results "on the fly", display prompts (Yandex, Google). This will significantly reduce the time to search for the necessary information, and will also help reduce the risk of "empty issuance";
- Be able to work with typos. If you look at how users work with tooltips and live search, you can notice that they enter one letter, then look at the tooltip and enter the next one. This happens because of fear of receiving an empty issue. This applies not only to a live search, but to any other;
- Live search should not work immediately after selecting a result. This problem is especially acute on mobile devices. Driving in a complex and long word, we rejoice if a tooltip pops up with it, but in the end we want to add a clarification, for example, price, buy, address. If the search starts immediately after selecting the prompt, then we are forced to wait for the download and only then refine the request;
- Press the enter key. Surprisingly, many developers do not yet consider this as a standard;
- Take into account morphology. It is much more difficult to develop, but the inclusion of this item will reduce the risk of "empty delivery", which is almost equivalent to leaving the user from the site;
- To be able to search with the wrong keyboard layout. Significantly improves user experience, does not work with "mobile" users;
- Have a dictionary of synonyms, abbreviations, stable expressions. In any industry there are those. This dictionary is the resource administrator. It is necessary to collect statistics of search queries and manually make links between certain queries and pages;
- To save requests that led to an empty output (possibly incorrect input or use of abbreviations) or vice versa found too much (to analyze the operation of filters).
Filters in the search results:
When is it worth installing search results filters? Yes, almost always! It does not depend on the size of your site. It depends on the type of information. If your information can be assigned several criteria, and your visitors can search for information in the context of several criteria, then filters will help speed up the conversion path. For example, you have a blog, a section with prices, a section of services and all other information on the site. You need a filter that takes into account the section, and if the user selects the “Price” or “Services” section in the filter, then it would be nice to add a filter by the categories of your services.
- Filters must be interdependent - when choosing values in one filter, dependent filters must change or disappear / new filters appear. For example, we have a filter with a type of information containing: blog, prices, services, reviews. When choosing a service, a new filter with categories of services should appear, and when choosing a blog, with rubrics. The filter should immediately exclude empty sections. If we choose a condition that excludes several filters or filter sections, then it is better to display them inactive;
- Information when using the filter should be displayed instantly, without reloading the page, but during the loading of information the filter should remain active;
- Filters should have a button to clear everything, which removes all the checkmarks installed in the filters;
- Minimize handwriting in the filter - in almost all cases, you can make a convenient choice of the proposed values, for the rest there is a search bar. An exception may be filters: cities, countries, streets.
Scenarios of search results
After entering a search query, the system operates according to one of the proposed scenarios:
Go to the page excluding the page of search results (implemented on Wikipedia)
More than 1 result without modifications
Go to standard search results
More than 1 result with request modification
Switch to standard search results. Above the search, information is displayed that the search query has been modified. This must be displayed, as the system may not understand the user correctly, we often encounter this when searching in Yandex, Google.
No search results.
The action is logged, the user is shown information on how to change the search query.
All the criteria for searching the site solve two main problems: reducing the time to search for information; improving the readability of search results. If you follow these recommendations, then your site will be one step closer to increasing conversion.