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Pattern Group J. Making Site Search Fast... > Create a Simple Search Tool

Create a Simple Search Tool

A simple tool for searching, when possible, is much easier to understand than a complicated search page. Although advanced search tools might allow customers to look for words near another word, to search for specific words and not others, and to enter other complex search expressions, most customers would rather have a simpler tool that works well and returns ORGANIZED SEARCH RESULTS (J3). Use simple phrasing to indicate the search field and an ACTION BUTTON (K4) for starting the search.

Some large Web sites use a search selector to help narrow the focus of the search. Figure J1.2 shows the search selector on Barnes & Noble.com. There are two issues for search selectors. The first is to make sure that the search selector has the right default, in case someone does not notice it. For example, the default for Barnes & Noble.com is to search on Books. Anyone who types in something without changing the default and expects to find music will only find books. The second issue is one of size. Smaller sites that have less than a couple hundred pages in various categories will not have enough results to warrant a subsection search selector.


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