June 25th, 2009
When you study how designs get made as much as we have, you start to notice something: good design is directly related to effort. Good design takes a lot of work. Bad design, as the bumper sticker says, “it just happens.”
You won’t find this to be any more true than in the design of effective search results pages. Search results look easy. After all, the engine has done all the heavy lifting. It’s taken the user’s query and scoured through the millions of bits of data to narrow the results down to a presentable set. All you have to do now is just display the results, right?
Well, after watching hundreds of users try to accomplish their goals with hundreds of web sites, we can now say, without any hesitation, that it’s not easy to produce a great search results page. In fact, we’re confident that it really takes a lot of hard work and skill to make something that will create a delightful experience for your users.
In today’s UIEtips, we look back at an article originally published a year ago, Producing Great Search Results: Harder than It Looks – part 1. Fortunately, having now watched all of these users, we’ve seen some really interesting patterns in how the most effective search results pages pull it off. And, over the next two weeks, we’ll share those with you.
Read my article, Producing Great Search Results: Harder Than It Looks, Part 1.
If you’re looking for ways to improve search on your web site for your users, then you’ll want to attend the next UIE Virtual Seminar that I’m presenting: Search, Scent and the Pursuit of User Happiness. In
this seminar, I’ll share some of Search’s best-kept secrets such as: a hidden resource on your server that shows you exactly how to make search more effective, and why focusing on “searchers” is a
design strategy that gets teams into trouble. Learn More.
Have you been working on your search results pages? Have you noticed design patterns that have made your site more effective? We want to hear about your experience. Share your thoughts with us below.Tweet