Double search boxes? Best practices?

14 May 2009 - 1:08pm
5 years ago
5 replies
776 reads
usabilitycounts
2008

I'm working on a directory site that has company listings (that have
to be searched), discussions, and white papers. We have the issue of
the double search box i.e. search the company listings in the top
right corner, and discussion search in the middle. Are there any best
practices out there around that?

Comments

14 May 2009 - 1:32pm
Erin Lynn Young
2009

Multiple search fields are bad. I'd recommend one of the following
approaches:
1) Default to a global search result page, but offering a dropdown
between the keyword field and submit button where users can scope
their search to a particualr section. The downside is users are
likely to miss it.
2) Offer a field/submit persistently in the site header, which takes
the user to a global search result page. One that page, categorize
the results in a visually prominent manner and allow the user to
refine their search more precisely from this level.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=42022

14 May 2009 - 1:45pm
Danny Hope
2008

2009/5/14 Erin Lynn Young <erinlynnyoung at gmail.com>:
> …categorize
> the results in a visually prominent manner and allow the user to
> refine their search more precisely from this level.

+1

--
Danny Hope
User Experience Consultant, Brighton (UK)
+44 (0)7595 226 792
@yandle

14 May 2009 - 3:18pm
Nasir Barday
2006

Not sure that I agree that multiple search fields are an unqualified "bad,"
but I'll concede that they probably aren't appropriate _in this context_,
assuming people, discussions, and white papers share the same level of
hierarchy.

A complement to a unified, categorized search results page could be showing
a version of that search results page as a live popup right under the field.
This makes sense for well-defined lists like directories, where people know
what they want (e.g. I know I'm looking for 'Carly Fiorina'). This lets
people quickly get to what they're looking for without waiting for the
results page to load first.

- N

14 May 2009 - 4:05pm
Erik Johnson
2009

How about a mix of what's described above? Let the user select what section they are to look in, then as they enter characters throw down a list of quick, real-time results the user can choose from. As a user I would like to have the option of choosing where my search is conducted, whether it be a Directory, Discussions, White Papers, or all of the above.

14 May 2009 - 6:05pm
usabilitycounts
2008

- The business wants to show off the vendor listings,
- The developer wants separate pages for separate results.
- All the topics are separate (meta data is slightly different).

On May 14, 2009, at 1:18 PM, Nasir Barday wrote:

> Not sure that I agree that multiple search fields are an unqualified
> "bad,"
> but I'll concede that they probably aren't appropriate _in this
> context_,
> assuming people, discussions, and white papers share the same level of
> hierarchy.
>
> A complement to a unified, categorized search results page could be
> showing
> a version of that search results page as a live popup right under
> the field.
> This makes sense for well-defined lists like directories, where
> people know
> what they want (e.g. I know I'm looking for 'Carly Fiorina'). This
> lets
> people quickly get to what they're looking for without waiting for the
> results page to load first.
>
> - N
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