Designing complex search pages

1 Aug 2006 - 11:03am
8 years ago
7 replies
690 reads
SusieComet
2006

Hello,

I am seeking a solution to a complex search page. I have several ideas,
but I wonder if there is an industry standard to presenting the
information.

The search fields are: Line of Business, Year, Make, Model.

Line of Business: Required
Also, one of the following combinations is required:
Year & Make
Year & Model
Make & Model

My options so far are to dynamically refresh the page based on what the
actor enters, or come up with a well worded solution that doesn't require
page refreshes.

Any ideas?

Thanks!

Susan Patrick
User Interface Designer
The Midland Company
(513) 947-6072

"Design is a process - an intimate collaboration between engineers,
designers, and clients." - Henry Dreyfuss, Industrial Designer

"Louise Cherry"
<cherryvi at corp.ea
rthlink.net> To
Sent by: <discuss at ixda.org>
discuss-bounces at l cc
ists.interactiond
esigners.com Subject
[IxDA Discuss] JOB: Interface
Architect at EarthLink, Inc in
07/27/2006 03:41 Atlanta, GA FULL TIME
PM

[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]

Title: Interface Architect 06-519-000679

Location: Pasadena, CA or Atlanta, GA

Earthlink is an 11-year old organization with 1800 employees in 11
locations. We are a consumer-focused service company providing Internet
access. Stated another way, we provide a "gateway" to the Internet. We
invest in software that differentiates the EarthLink experience by
delivering a seamless experience with advanced features that remove risks
and unwanted intrusions from the Internet.

EarthLink is seeking a user-centered design professional to collaborate
with
Product Marketing and Development on User Interface Design for software
applications, web interfaces and other interface-based Voip products.
Reporting to the Sr. Product Manager, this position will define and
document
interfaces with a focus on highly usable design and meeting product
requirements.

Skills/Experience

Self-starter with the ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously.
Problem solving, brainstorming, wire framing, design documenting skills a
must.
Ability to create information architecture, flow charts and diagrams.
Ability to operate within an established design and development process.
Software skills: Adobe PhotoShop and/or Illustrator and/or Visio.
Knowledge of Rich Internet Application technology (Flash, CSS, DHTML, etc)
is a big plus.
Knowledge of user testing methodology a plus.
Knowledge of Voip applications or similar applications a big plus.

Requirements/Education

Human Interface, Communication Design or Information Design college degree
is a plus.
Graphic Design degree and/or experience is a plus
7+ plus years experience in user centered design and information
architecture is required.
Applicant must be experienced in designing user interfaces for software,
complete applications and small interfaces with a development team.

EarthLink offers a competitive salary, a casual workplace, and an excellent
benefits package. If interested please apply at the following url:
http://www.earthlink.net/about/careers/ or
https://earthlink.recruitmax.com/ENG/candidates/default.cfm?szCategory=jobpr

ofile&szOrderID=4012&szCandidateID=0&szSearchWords=&szReturnToSearch=1

________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
(Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org

-----------------------------------------
CONFIDENTIALITY STATEMENT:
This e-mail transmission contains information that is intended to
be confidential. It is intended only for the addressee named
above. If you receive this e-mail in error, please do not read,
copy, or disseminate it. If you are not the intended recipient,
any disclosure, copying, distribution or use of the contents of
this information is prohibited. Please reply to the message
immediately by informing the sender that the message was
misdirected. After replying, please erase it from your computer
system. Your assistance in correcting this error is appreciated.

Comments

1 Aug 2006 - 12:30pm
Austin Govella
2004

On 8/1/06, SPatrick at amig.com <SPatrick at amig.com> wrote:
> I am seeking a solution to a complex search page. I have several ideas,
> but I wonder if there is an industry standard to presenting the
> information.
>
> The search fields are: Line of Business, Year, Make, Model.
>
> Line of Business: Required
> Also, one of the following combinations is required:
> Year & Make
> Year & Model
> Make & Model

Susan,

This is a faceted search. Google for best practices:
* http://www.google.com/search?q=faceted+search+best+practices

Since the facets (year, make, and model) are reasonably limited
collections, I think the biggest problem to solve will be whether to
use text input fields, select boxes, or text inputs with type
ahead/suggest.

Once you've picked a direction, I'd be curious to hear back on why you
chose one over the other.

HTH,
--
Austin Govella
Thinking & Making: IA, UX, and IxD
http://thinkingandmaking.com
austin.govella at gmail.com

2 Aug 2006 - 7:41am
Todd Roberts
2005

Parallel bargrams (http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/502348.502357) are an
interesting approach to faceted search. However, I have not come across a
real implementation of them yet. Has anyone else?

> Any ideas?
>
>

2 Aug 2006 - 3:41pm
Bryan J Busch
2006

> I am seeking a solution to a complex search page. I have several
> ideas,
> but I wonder if there is an industry standard to presenting the
> information.
>
> The search fields are: Line of Business, Year, Make, Model.
>
> Line of Business: Required
> Also, one of the following combinations is required:
> Year & Make
> Year & Model
> Make & Model
>
> My options so far are to dynamically refresh the page based on what
> the
> actor enters, or come up with a well worded solution that doesn't
> require
> page refreshes.

Hi, Susan,

I'm wondering: was the decision to make certain fields required based
on a limitation of the database performance? I admit that I don't
have what you've asked for: an industry standard method for handling
your complex search, but I think that's mostly because it's rare that
I see a Search mechanism with strict requirements like that.

Is there any way I can convince you to loosen up the search page so
that a person is encouraged to enter search terms using a more
natural language (e.g., assuming you're dealing with cars: "1993 jeep
cherokee")? On the Results page, you can introduce some filtering
options there... maybe, as Austin suggested, a dropdown for the Make,
which would drive the dropdown for the model. Maybe get all fancy
with a slider bar for the year so that people can look for a range of
years, if they're not certain of the year.

If there's still a (very valid) concern remaining about database
performance, you might look at something like LiveGrid (http://
openrico.org/rico/livegrid.page).

- Bryan

2 Aug 2006 - 7:56pm
Austin Govella
2004

On 8/2/06, Bryan J Busch <bryanjbusch at gmail.com> wrote:
> Maybe get all fancy
> with a slider bar for the year so that people can look for a range of
> years, if they're not certain of the year.

This is a cool idea. I think there are many people who have a general
idea of the year a thing happened but aren't very accurate. A slider
would let them be fuzzy.

--
Austin Govella
Thinking & Making: IA, UX, and IxD
http://thinkingandmaking.com
austin.govella at gmail.com

3 Aug 2006 - 6:58am
SusieComet
2006

[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
Hi, Susan,

I'm wondering: was the decision to make certain fields required based
on a limitation of the database performance? I admit that I don't
have what you've asked for: an industry standard method for handling
your complex search, but I think that's mostly because it's rare that
I see a Search mechanism with strict requirements like that.

*It's not due to database performance, but we're building it quickly (no
column sorting) and the potential is there for it to return 14,000 rows if
we don't force limitations. This was a business decision.

Is there any way I can convince you to loosen up the search page so
that a person is encouraged to enter search terms using a more
natural language (e.g., assuming you're dealing with cars: "1993 jeep
cherokee")? On the Results page, you can introduce some filtering
options there... maybe, as Austin suggested, a dropdown for the Make,
which would drive the dropdown for the model. Maybe get all fancy
with a slider bar for the year so that people can look for a range of
years, if they're not certain of the year.

*I would love to be able to do something like this!!!! Maybe in my next
job.

My solution so far:
Line of Business*
Year**
Make**
Model**

*Required
**At least 2 of these fields are Required

It's clunky, and ugly, but the users understood it in a prototype, so it's
a start!

Susan Patrick
User Interface Designer
The Midland Company
(513) 947-6072

"Design is a process - an intimate collaboration between engineers,
designers, and clients." - Henry Dreyfuss, Industrial Designer

-----------------------------------------
CONFIDENTIALITY STATEMENT:
This e-mail transmission contains information that is intended to
be confidential. It is intended only for the addressee named
above. If you receive this e-mail in error, please do not read,
copy, or disseminate it. If you are not the intended recipient,
any disclosure, copying, distribution or use of the contents of
this information is prohibited. Please reply to the message
immediately by informing the sender that the message was
misdirected. After replying, please erase it from your computer
system. Your assistance in correcting this error is appreciated.

3 Aug 2006 - 7:13am
spyboy
2006

I was thinking sliders too, very similar to how www.kayak.com works when you
search for a hotel. You'll have to enter a city and get to the results page,
which then allows you to filter your results further (viva la ajax! Ha!)

They use sliders for low-high price range (one of the few places for pricing
where you want to adjust the lowest number).

Kirk

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Austin
Govella
Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2006 9:56 PM
To: Bryan J Busch
Cc: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Designing complex search pages

[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]

On 8/2/06, Bryan J Busch <bryanjbusch at gmail.com> wrote:
> Maybe get all fancy
> with a slider bar for the year so that people can look for a range of
> years, if they're not certain of the year.

This is a cool idea. I think there are many people who have a general idea
of the year a thing happened but aren't very accurate. A slider would let
them be fuzzy.

--
Austin Govella
Thinking & Making: IA, UX, and IxD
http://thinkingandmaking.com
austin.govella at gmail.com
________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org List Guidelines ............
http://listguide.ixda.org/ List Help ..................
http://listhelp.ixda.org/ (Un)Subscription Options ...
http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
Questions .................. lists at ixda.org Home .......................
http://ixda.org/ Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org

14 Aug 2006 - 11:01am
Juan Lanus
2005

You might want to read something in:
http://flamenco.berkeley.edu/
This comes from a thread in [CHI-WEB] with subject "Classification
Mind: summary"
I researched a bit for a site to offer film locations. Finally my
conclusion was that instead of "empower" the user with a
multi-featured search tool it was better to build something akin to
the user's mental models.
A zero-time learning inerface.
In your case the AJAX-like technologies can let you refresh the lists
almost witout the user noticing it, by doing it with concealed
communictions between the page and the server.
The page stays there, no refresh, and the sub-lists come as needed.
--
Juan Lanus
TECNOSOL
Argentina

Syndicate content Get the feed