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  • Make More Money: Best Practices for Ads in Search Results: Part 1
    slightly padded results in blue are really paid advertisements Figure 4 Autotrader com mixes many different types of search results When clicking a search results link takes searchers somewhere surprising or by mistake they click a featured result their reaction is often very negative Yet to the extent that a link satisfies a customer s need clicking it can be a very positive experience finding exactly what the customer was looking for The key to solving this problem is grouping the different kinds of content while making it clear what are paid advertisements or featured results and clearly differentiating paid content from organic search results through subtle but telling visual cues Colin Ware in his book Information Visualization Perception for Design describes so called preattentive attributes which involve the early stage of visual perception that occurs mostly below the level of conscious thought at a very high speed He distinguishes four categories of preattentive attributes form color spatial position and motion We can apply the grouping strategies for all four categories of these attributes to ads typically using line size shape hue and enclosure to subtly differentiate ads from content Motion applies mainly to animated ads which can be an appropriate differentiation strategy depending on their content We will discuss this further in Part 2 Google s search results provide a great example of subtle preattentive differentiation As shown in Figure 2 Google displays three kinds of results on search results pages ads at the top Their subtle yellow background hue differentiates them from the organic results organic search results in the middle These are the actual content ads in the column on the right Their placement and narrow column format differentiate them from the organic results plus a vertical line sets them off Overall the results on this page fit together and flow really well while the ads formats subtly but unequivocally differentiate them from the content Customers ability to effectively differentiate various types of content diminishes as the numbers of different types and sources of content appearing on a page increase even when the content is grouped appropriately and visually integrated using the site s colors and fonts At some point a search results page simply reaches its point of saturation and it becomes impossible for customers to tell the different types of search results apart When doing usability studies for a major etailer that provided ten different types of search results Greg found that most test participants could not distinguish one type of result from another when scrolling through search results pages Thus the experience became overwhelming for people using the site who were often frustrated because they never knew where they were about to go when they clicked a search result Buy com pictured in Figure 5 is another site that is oversaturated with different types of search results and ad content There are at least 13 different formats for third party ads on a single page No surprise the site rating service Internet Retailer commented

    Original URL path: http://www.designcaffeine.com/articles/make-more-money-best-practices-for-ads-in-search-results-part-1/ (2016-04-27)
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  • Starting from Zero: Winning Strategies for No Search Results Pages
    way out filter links on a no search results page suck the customer deeper into the quagmire of no search results now requiring multiple clicks of the Back button to get back to some useful content Morningstar is not the only site guilty of providing unproductive and confusing links that do not give customers a way out Can you spot some useless filtering controls on the Endless com no search results page shown in Figure 3 Figure 3 Endless com no search results page If you answered The entire page except the search box you are correct Further constraining already nonexistent search results to those with Free Overnight Delivery changing the sort order narrowing by category or using a fancy price slider would all yield an endless stream of no results Such system behavior is very confusing to customers who are already frustrated by getting no search results Instead of providing controls to further constrain a customer s query on your no search results page make sure every control gives the customer a productive way out Compare these endless nonproductive results to the page in Figure 4 which shows the result of the same query on Amazon com Figure 4 Amazon shows a way out to find Nike sneakers Amazon s no search results page succeeds in a big way because of its very prominent and useful links and content that helps customers find their way to Nike sneakers and get away from the no search results page Focus on the Customer s Goal The Amazon page in Figure 4 is also a great example of a very effective content strategy removing some of a user s original keywords or making partial matches For most e commerce sites this strategy deserves special consideration because many of the people I ve observed over the years have leaned toward over constraining their queries by typing too many search keywords Over constraining searches is especially prevalent when people are searching for an item of particular interest to them so you will not always see this behavior in a usability test with predefined search tasks and made up items for which participants are to search Often over constraining searches also involves a customer s picking the wrong category in a filter set so your e commerce site s no search results recovery strategy must include at the very minimum a basic keyword only search of All Categories with no other constraints Another reason to take a look at the strategy of removing some keywords is the fact that adding more search terms to explain what we mean is also a very common human response to the perceived misunderstanding a no search results page signals For example in my experience it is not uncommon for someone to attempt to recover from a no search results condition that resulted from mistakenly searching for the book Harry Potter and the Sleepy Hollows by adding misspelled keywords such as J K Rawlin thus inadvertently multiplying the confusion After

    Original URL path: http://www.designcaffeine.com/articles/starting-from-zero-winning-strategies-for-no-search-results-pages/ (2016-04-27)
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  • auto-complete
    system Unfortunately misunderstandings in this conversation are all too common and the effectiveness of the zero search results page is critical to keeping the customer engaged Moreover thinking creatively about the zero results case can turn a temporary snag in communication into an opportunity for deeper connection and a source of tremendous competitive advantage Filed Under 56 Articles on Digital Strategy Mobile and Search Featured UX Design Articles Search UX

    Original URL path: http://www.designcaffeine.com/tag/auto-complete/ (2016-04-27)
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  • Search Results Satori: Balancing Pogosticking and Page Relevance
    this decreases pogosticking However it s possible to include too much information It s a balancing act Take a look at the Expedia hotel search results in Figure 3 Figure 3 Expedia Welcome to the Parc Fifty Five Hotel At an 800 x 600 pixel screen resolution Expedia customers can see is only a part of one magnificent search result for the Parc Fifty Five Hotel That s right Some customers will have to scroll just to see one entire search result This is a pretty extreme case of overly rich information in search results In general displaying a smaller number of search results on each results page impacts your site s user experience in two critical ways Fewer products on each page of results exposes less of your site s inventory to customers at a given resolution Results pages that show fewer products are less likely to be relevant to customers To understand this issue better let s contrast the Expedia search result with the Orbitz search results shown in Figure 4 Figure 4 Orbitz putting search results on a diet Placing more products on each search results page requires using less real estate for each result On 800 x 600 pixel resolution screens Orbitz shows almost two full search results whereas on Expedia customers can barely see even a single result This means the Orbitz showroom floor has about 200 the capacity of that on Expedia The number of search results on a page is also significant from the standpoint of the overall page relevancy Often business people and designers alike forget that their site is not the only site on the Web and consumers have many choices If your site does not provide the right information scent your customers can be gone just like that Fingers snap But wait a minute you say What about scrolling Can t users just scroll down to what s relevant It is true that they can Research shows people actually have no problem scrolling However users will scroll only if they feel they have a hope of finding something that is relevant to them lower on the page In a post Google world this hope quickly diminishes if what customers see on the page above the fold is not relevant There is a very strong mental model at work here The most relevant stuff is at the top and the further down I go the less relevant the content is likely to be For example if a customer is looking for a historic boutique bed and breakfast in San Francisco she is not likely to find an Expedia page that the Parc Fifty Five Hotel dominates particularly relevant In contrast Orbitz shows two results so that doubles the chances one of those results might be the historic boutique jewel the customer is looking for No search engine is perfect at understanding customers desires which they often express in vague and over generalized terms But by exposing a greater number of search

    Original URL path: http://www.designcaffeine.com/articles/search-results-satori-balancing-pogosticking-and-page-relevance/ (2016-04-27)
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  • snippet
    Mobile and Search Search UX Design Articles Tagged With pogosticking relevancy Search UX Design Articles snippet UX Design UXmatters Making 10 000 a Pixel Optimizing Thumbnail Images in Search Results Jan 19th 2010 by Greg Nudelman In search results the old adage a picture is worth a thousand words rings true When it comes to making your search results more efficient to use more relevant and more attractive while dramatically

    Original URL path: http://www.designcaffeine.com/tag/snippet/ (2016-04-27)
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  • Making $10,000 a Pixel: Optimizing Thumbnail Images in Search Results
    use of the space If a title exceeds a certain character count and must be cut off you can easily achieve this fade out effect by assigning different styles to the last two or three letters of the title using progressively lighter colors for successive characters However you can t always count on visual design alone to bail you out If the text of titles in your search results is consistently getting cut off it might be time to consider an interaction design solution For example artists posting their items on Etsy could be alerted if they exceed a certain character count that their title would be cut off Alternatively it might be appropriate to have a short title for search results and an additional longer description field for display on item detail pages Finally if a single line of text just does not provide enough information search results can show several lines of text as necessary Go Easy on the Borders Most business people and designers have figured out that images with heavy borders do not convert as well as those surrounded by simple white space In fact I was hard pressed to find a good example of thumbnail images with heavy borders though they were pretty common until just a few years ago I recommend removing borders completely as a best practice using only white space to separate items on search results pages If you absolutely must have thumbnail borders in the words of Jennifer Stone go easy and if you can t go easy go as easy as you can As Edward Tufte has so eloquently advocated a very light gray border is usually okay and does not detract unduly from an image If you do use borders be sure to center your images both horizontally and vertically within them Otherwise you might end up with a strange effect like that shown in Figure 6 which shows Nordstrom search results for shoes On this page each shoe appears to be perching on the bottom edge of its box like a bird on a window sill If the designers simply took away the borders there would be no distracting perching effect Figure 6 Perched shoes on Nordstrom Keep the Focus on the Image Content When showing thumbnail images on search results pages strive to provide an actual detailed picture of each item and keep the images simple While a small light gray drop shadow might be appropriate it s usually best to ignore the temptation to add funky backgrounds and distracting visual effects In search results the primary goal of thumbnail images is to provide clear pictures of the items so customers can determine which item to click Anything that does not contribute to their success in reaching this goal simply does not belong in a thumbnail image Figure 7 shows two examples of thumbnail images from ecommmerce sites On the left an image from JCPenney s Gift com has a background that may distract shoppers from clicking

    Original URL path: http://www.designcaffeine.com/articles/making-10000-a-pixel-optimizing-thumbnail-images-in-search-results/ (2016-04-27)
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  • images
    a thousand words rings true When it comes to making your search results more efficient to use more relevant and more attractive while dramatically increasing your conversion rates and revenues images reign supreme This column discusses how to avoid common pitfalls and get the most out of your thumbnails Filed Under 56 Articles on Digital Strategy Mobile and Search Search UX Design Articles Tagged With images pogosticking relevancy Search UX

    Original URL path: http://www.designcaffeine.com/tag/images/ (2016-04-27)
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  • Greg Nudelman's Posts
    Search UX Search UX Design Articles SEM SEO SES Talks Top 5 Ways to Break Your Login Experience Nov 10th 2011 by Greg Nudelman l ve been a Deli cio us customer for many years and their browser plugin has been an indispensable tool for writing my book Designing Search UX Strategies for eCommerce Success The plugin is still as delicious as ever but the login experience has become a cloying putrid Durian mess that became enough to justify the pain of 2 hours of migrating to and learning another service Don t let your customers walk out on you Avoid these 5 key issues in your login process Filed Under 56 Articles on Digital Strategy Mobile and Search Design Strategy Articles Tagged With best practices delicious ecommerce login passwords Enterprise Search Summit Fall November 1 3 2011 Washington DC Nov 1st 2011 by Greg Nudelman Ubiquitous Enterprise Search New Design Approaches for Mobile and Tablet Lessons from ecommerce and other consumer oriented mobile designs will provide practical strategies on managing the high risk mobile search investment and growing the scope of enterprise search offerings Filed Under Speaking Tagged With Mobile and Tablet UX Design Articles Presentation Search UX Design Articles UX Design Workshop GOLD SPONSOR DrawCamp October 23 2011 Milwaukee WI Oct 23rd 2011 by Greg Nudelman Agile Mobile Prototyping with Post It Notes In this intensive hands on session participants will learn how to use a pack of post it notes to successfully simulate a mobile device and re create and study key interactions transitions and touch screen control ergonomics cheaply quickly and accurately Participants will walk away with a set of completed paper prototype screens of their next app ready for testing Filed Under Speaking Tagged With drawing iPad iPhone Mobile and Tablet UX Design Articles paper prototypes Presentations prototyping sketching tabet Workshop ScketchCamp Chi October 22 2011 Chicago IL Oct 22nd 2011 by Greg Nudelman Agile Mobile Design Sketching In this intensive hands on session participants will learn how to use a pack of post it notes to successfully simulate a mobile device and re create and study key interactions transitions and touch screen control ergonomics cheaply quickly and accurately Participants will walk away with a set of completed paper prototype screens of their next app ready for testing Filed Under Speaking Tagged With drawing iPhone paper prototypes post it notes Presentation prototyping sketching UX Design UX Research Workshop Designing for Mobile Tablet Workshop October 21 2011 Milwaukee WI Oct 21st 2011 by Greg Nudelman Today mobile experiences are beginning to dominate our connection with technology Stories we read Places we go Stuff we buy Food we eat Who we interact with Mobile is increasingly becoming the platform the operating system on which we run our digital lives In this intensive hands on full day workshop you will learn to design authentic mobile and tablet websites and apps that deliver experiences your customers will love to come back to again and again And create a return

    Original URL path: http://www.designcaffeine.com/author/greg/page/3/ (2016-04-27)
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