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  • Cameras, Music, and Mattresses: Designing Query Disambiguation Solutions for the Real World
    detail in future columns but for now notice how extremely committed this category selection is in comparison to the Amazon search results for the same query shown in Figure 1 Not only is the Canon brand selected there is no trace of any results matching Canon for other types of products on the site This provides a great user experience for someone looking for electronic gadgets but it could be very confusing to someone looking for something in the category Music for example A final word of caution Automatically selecting a default category or topic is a very committed action so communicating how to undo this action can be a challenge Evidence shows that half hearted measures for indicating the presence of other results on a Web site do not work particularly well Here is an example When doing some user research for one of the top Web retailers I tested a memorable user interface that automatically selected the category Shoes when a user typed the query Nike However unlike the Best Buy user interface shown in Figure 2 the user interface I was testing also provided a prominent link to let users undo the category selection Not looking for Nike Shoes The usability test task involved finding Nike bags The study s significant finding was that the vast majority of participants did not discover or click the link Not looking for Nike Shoes I theorized that this might have occurred because the link did not contain any information scent for the category Bags for which participants were searching Additionally when people quickly scanned the page as most people tend to do mentally processing this negative statement was fairly difficult Dynamically displayed links for other Nike categories that started with strong keyword scent words might have been much more successful for example Other Nike products Bags Shirts Pants Jackets More The moral of this story If you do commit to using a default topic or category as part of your disambiguation strategy make sure it is for a good reason based on metrics that help your company meet its business goals Decrease your company s risk by providing a clear way out of the default category using links that start with prominent keywords and provide strong information scent for other popular categories or topics matching a keyword Prominently Displaying a Category Selector In addition to a Related Searches module most ecommerce sites also provide a category selector widget Notice that in Figure 1 Amazon presented its available categories in a navigation bar on the left While this strategy is pretty standard and widely accepted some sites go still further emphasizing their categories as a strategy for disambiguation For example compare the Amazon search results shown in Figure 1 to The Home Depot search results for drill in which the categories appear prominently above the search results as shown in Figure 3 Figure 3 Home Depot search result categories There are many good reasons for emphasizing categories as part of your

    Original URL path: http://www.designcaffeine.com/articles/cameras-music-and-mattresses-designing-query-disambiguation-solutions-for-the-real-world/ (2016-04-27)
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  • Best Practices for Designing Faceted Search Filters
    matters The Office Depot user interface is particularly sensitive to the order in which a user deselects the check boxes for a single filter For example the price filter option 50 100 simply disappears if a user deselects it before deselecting the 50 60 filter option A customer would have to click the browser s Back button twice to undo both selections because there is no other way to return to the default state Typically all of the available filters and options plus the data that appears on a page can change after each click The key is to avoid completely removing options in the same filter where a click took place 3 Always make all filters easily available Please don t misunderstand me I am not saying all filters should be visible at the same time It is perfectly acceptable to collapse filters to just a label providing a single link like View All Filters or to display previously selected filtering options in a unique way However if at different steps in the search workflow filters start randomly disappearing from the search user interface with no way to bring them back bad things start to happen very quickly Figure 6 shows what happens to the Office Depot search results when a user selects the option Red in the Color filter As you can see once a user selects a color all of the other filters disappear entirely Figure 6 On Office Depot filters disappear randomly Does this system behavior make any sense Let s say I want to buy a red chair mat Under Color I can select the Red check box and view a great variety of red chair mats Is there really a compelling reason for me to do anything else with the color filter Will I as a true connoisseur of all things red perhaps drill down into shades of red for my chair mat such as Burgundy Farmhouse Red or Ripe Tomato Not very likely at least not for chair mats Instead I am much more likely to say okay these are all of the red chair mats Great Now can I select a mat from a known brand Or perhaps I would like a budget priced mat so I need to further constrain my search by price Or maybe I am a stupendous fan of the Ohio Buckeyes and want to find a chair mat with my team logo leaving fans of the Michigan Wolverines green with envy Using other filters to continue massaging my red chair mats query is a far more likely scenario Alternatively let s consider a different use case I just selected Red and now I can see a bunch of red chair mats Almost immediately I realize these red chair mats are almost but not quite entirely unlike the mat I actually want to buy So I immediately attempt to seek out two things a way to undo my most recent selection a way to review what other filtering

    Original URL path: http://www.designcaffeine.com/articles/best-practices-for-designing-faceted-search-filters/ (2016-04-27)
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  • drill-down
    search redesign misses some key points making their new search user interface less usable and therefore less effective This makes it an excellent case study for demonstrating best practices for designing filters for faceted search results Filed Under 56 Articles on Digital Strategy Mobile and Search Featured UX Design Articles Search UX Design Articles Tagged With drill down faceted search multiple select parallel selection Search UX Design Articles UX Design

    Original URL path: http://www.designcaffeine.com/tag/drill-down/ (2016-04-27)
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  • Search UX Design Articles
    is finding the right balance between providing enough information in individual search results so customers can make informed decisions without pogosticking and providing enough relevant search results on each page of results to warrant further exploration of the site Filed Under 56 Articles on Digital Strategy 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 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 Design Articles snippet thumbnails UX Design UXmatters Searching Help Don t Even Go There Jan 19th 2010 by Greg Nudelman Web site user assistance that consistently exceeds customer s expectations can catapult your company to legendary status and create brand equity you can measure in billions of dollars However making Help a strategic asset for your company is an arduous task To shed light on this important topic I have teamed up with Tricia Clement a renowned SUA expert to deliver actionable insights about Web site user assistance Filed Under 56 Articles on Digital Strategy Mobile and Search Search UX Design Articles Tagged With help inline help landing pages navigation Search UX Design Articles tutorials UX Design UXmatters Choosing the Right Search Results Page Layout Make the Most of Your Width Jan 19th 2010 by Greg Nudelman Page layout forms the foundation in presenting search results Your layout decisions for search results pages will have tremendous impact on the user experience for your entire site Choosing the right width for search results is important and the optimal width for search results may be a great deal narrower than some people using big monitors would believe Filed Under 56 Articles on Digital Strategy Mobile and Search Search UX Design Articles Tagged With CSS fixed layout layout liquid layout margins revenue Search UX Design Articles UX Design UXmatters Starting from Zero Winning Strategies for No Search Results Pages Jan 18th 2010 by Greg Nudelman Search more than any other activity on your Web site is a living evolving process of discovery a conversation between a customer and your 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 Design Articles

    Original URL path: http://www.designcaffeine.com/tag/search/page/3/ (2016-04-27)
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  • tablet
    With drawing iPad Mobile and Tablet UX Design Articles postit notes presnetation prototyping sketching tablet Workshop Design Patterns for Mobile Faceted Search Part II Jun 4th 2010 by Greg Nudelman In Part I of Design Patterns for Mobile Faceted Search I looked at Four Corners Modal Overlay Watermark and Full Page Refinement Options design patterns which maximize the mobile screen real estate This column covers strategies for making people aware

    Original URL path: http://www.designcaffeine.com/tag/tablet/page/3/ (2016-04-27)
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  • UXmatters
    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 Design Articles snippet thumbnails UX Design UXmatters Searching Help Don t Even Go There Jan 19th 2010 by Greg Nudelman Web site user assistance that consistently exceeds customer s expectations can catapult your company to legendary status and create brand equity you can measure in billions of dollars However making Help a strategic asset for your company is an arduous task To shed light on this important topic I have teamed up with Tricia Clement a renowned SUA expert to deliver actionable insights about Web site user assistance Filed Under 56 Articles on Digital Strategy Mobile and Search Search UX Design Articles Tagged With help inline help landing pages navigation Search UX Design Articles tutorials UX Design UXmatters Choosing the Right Search Results Page Layout Make the Most of Your Width Jan 19th 2010 by Greg Nudelman Page layout forms the foundation in presenting search results Your layout decisions for search results pages will have tremendous impact on the user experience for your entire site Choosing the right width for search results is important and the optimal width for search results may be a great deal narrower than some people using big monitors would believe Filed Under 56 Articles on Digital Strategy Mobile and Search Search UX Design Articles Tagged With CSS fixed layout layout liquid layout margins revenue Search UX Design Articles UX Design UXmatters Starting from Zero Winning Strategies for No Search Results Pages Jan 18th 2010 by Greg Nudelman Search more than

    Original URL path: http://www.designcaffeine.com/tag/uxmatters/page/2/ (2016-04-27)
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  • 56 Articles on UX Strategy, Mobile and Search
    patterns for maximizing the real estate available for search results while the next will cover strategies for making people aware of filtering options Filed Under 56 Articles on Digital Strategy Mobile and Search Featured UX Design Articles Mobile and Tablet UX Design Articles Search UX Design Articles Tagged With Mobile and Tablet UX Design Articles Search UX Design Articles UX Design UXmatters Designing Mobile Search Turning Limitations into Opportunities Mar 8th 2010 by Greg Nudelman Thinking of porting your Web finding experience to iPhone Android or Windows Mobile Just forget about the fact that these devices are basically full featured computers with tiny screens Designing a great mobile search experience requires thinking differently In terms of turning limitations into opportunities Filed Under 56 Articles on Digital Strategy Mobile and Search Featured UX Design Articles Mobile and Tablet UX Design Articles Search UX Design Articles Tagged With Mobile and Tablet UX Design Articles Search UX Design Articles UX Design UXmatters Notes from Whitney s Amazing talk Evangelizing Yourself Feb 12th 2010 by Greg Nudelman Notes from Whitney s Amazing talk Evangelizing Yourself http www slideshare net whitneyhess evangelizing yourself 1184852 by Whitney Hess http www WhitneyHess com Filed Under 56 Articles on Digital Strategy Mobile and Search Design Strategy Articles Tagged With Inspiration Numeric Filters Issues and Best Practices Feb 8th 2010 by Greg Nudelman Filters with numeric values remain among the most confusing in faceted search because many sites have not been able to design usable numeric filters that people can use in an intuitive manner In this column I cover how to show discrete numeric values avoid overly constrained filter states and display key inventory information and introduce a novel pattern of histogram sliders Filed Under 56 Articles on Digital Strategy Mobile and Search Search UX Design Articles Tagged

    Original URL path: http://www.designcaffeine.com/category/articles/page/4/ (2016-04-27)
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  • The Mystery of Filtering by Sorting
    more complex than the Amazon user interface shown in Figure 1 this redesign ensures that the sort by control is in a more noticeable position and would be considerably easier for most users to understand and use This is important because according to my field and lab study observations sorting can be much more successful than filtering in some cases Myth 2 Sorting Is Less Successful Than Filtering in Helping Customers Find Content Anyone who s ever observed a usability study that involved filtering search results by setting a price range can readily attest to this simple truth People chronically over constrain their queries A good example would be a task like finding a digital camera that fits in your pocket and costs around 100 Most users respond to this simple task by setting the price range to you guessed it Price from 100 to 100 A typical search user interface would invariably respond to this query by returning no results This outcome is the result of a basic mismatch between a human s understanding of what around 100 means and the machine logic that delivers precisely what the user asked for no more no less As it turned out in the study in which we asked participants to shop for a digital camera there were about 50 camera models for sale under 99 99 and about the same number for sale over 100 99 The mean price for cameras on the site happened to be 100 so this price should have been a perfect starting point for exploring the site s inventory Instead the nature of the search user interface caused users to manipulate the filters in a way that was detrimental to their success in finding a camera As Neal Stephenson wrote in his book In the Beginning Was the Command Line Giving clear instructions to anyone or anything is difficult We cannot do it without thinking and depending on the complexity of the situation we may have to think hard about abstract things and consider any number of ramifications in order to do a good job of it For most of us this is hard work We want things to be easier Neal Stephenson To use filtering controls effectively in setting a range users need to think in order to give instructions to the system that are sufficiently precise but not too precise For this reason most filtering controls that ask users to type a range from a number to another number are simply not very successful in producing a good set of search results The same goes for price sliders that don t show the price range for the available inventory and make it too easy to over constrain the query to a single price point or to too small a range Still while most people would not care whether they spent 99 or 109 on a camera those same people would care deeply about spending 99 000 versus 109 000 for a house In the latter case rather than a price range the upper limit of a user s price range would be a more appropriate filter for a query However most ecommerce applications at best let users set price only using such vague settings as around 100 Additionally I found that most people do not have a clear idea of a price they would expect to pay for most items and are easily swayed by other factors such as features brand recognition ratings and social pressures I will cover the design of effective search filters in a future column Here I just want to make the point that for all of the reasons I ve mentioned a well placed Sort by price control is often much more successful than a filtering control in producing a useful set of search results In contrast to filtering controls sorting controls never produce zero search results So they eliminate many of the common search misunderstandings that people encounter with filtering and help people to be more successful while applying considerably less thought to their finding tasks Sorting displays the result set in the right configuration for efficient exploration If when sorting by price a user chooses lowest first budget models appear first allowing customers to reach their right price point via scrolling If a user chooses highest first the search results present a nice entry point to the higher end models For finding midrange cameras the most appropriate interaction model would a combination of sort and filter We ll get to that in a moment For now let s just say that in many cases sort offers a great way of enticing our customers to explore our inventories so they ll find something interesting Search success leads to more satisfied customers who come back more often Based on my research for consumer applications I can state with confidence that sorting by price high to low and low to high is quite intuitive and quickly understood by diverse audiences So unless we are talking about the larger sums of money customers might spend on cars real estate or political donations a simple bidirectional Sort by Price control is sufficient even without using a price filter Myth 3 Sort Should Be Hidden in a Drop Down List As I mentioned earlier various sorting options offer superb starting points for browsing the inventory on an ecommerce site so there is no reason to hide them in a drop down list The Apple iPhone App Store shown in Figure 3 provides a great example of an alternative sorting user interface The two buttons at the top of the screen and all of the tabs at the bottom are actually you guessed it examples of sort by controls that have been liberated from a drop down list Figure 3 The iPhone App Store s sort by controls facilitate browsing What makes this user interface successful For this screen a typical use case might be something like this Find a new to do list

    Original URL path: http://www.designcaffeine.com/articles/the-mystery-of-filtering-by-sorting/ (2016-04-27)
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