Search Box acts as an interaction channel between the user and the system. The user accesses the information through a query, and the system responds to the user request as a set of search results. Search Box is a critical element for any website that is informative and content-based on the whole.
The article shares five exclusive tips that beneficially improve the search UX.
1. Place the search box where users prefer to see:
Searching for the search box on the website doesn’t sound great for the user. The search box should be easy to spot on the site, and users shouldn’t struggle much to locate it. A study by A. Dawn Shaikh and Keisi Lenz reveals that the most user-expected search box position is in the top left or top right area on any webpage.
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Placing the search box in the user expected positions on the website ensures that it will quickly get their attention. On the whole, the UX designer you hire should not fail to manage the box with website design while keeping it stand out slightly. The more the website is content-based, the more visible the search box should be.
2. Proper Search Input Field Size:
The input field shouldn’t be too short, and it is a common silly mistake that a lot of web designers often make. If only some part of the text is visible when a user types long queries, it is inconvenient for the users to review and edit the queries. Further, it has less usability and poor readability.
3. Include Sample Search Query for User Reference:
It is an excellent idea to incorporate a sample search query in the Search box input field to let the users have an idea of what they can search for. With HTML5, designers can work easily inside the input field to include text as a placeholder. If there is search functionality for multiple criteria, explain using the input hint pattern. At the same time, ensure that you limit your hint to just some words; otherwise, the cognitive load will increase.
4. Keep Initial User’s Query in The Search Box:
Don’t erase the original search query that the user made. In several information journeys, query reformulation is a critical step. If users don’t get what they’re searching for in the first attempt probably, they will search again with a slightly modified query. It will be effortless and convenient for them if the initial search term doesn’t get erased in the search box.
5. Auto-Suggestion Feature:
As per Nielsen Norman Group research, typical users are not so good at query making. Users several times give up just after the first failed attempt – they will rarely try for the second attempt. Though, an auto-suggestion mechanism overcomes this nasty situation. With Auto-suggestion mechanisms, users can adequately query by attempting to predict based on the characters entered. The auto-suggestion mechanism functions well and benefits the users to make better search queries.
- Implement useful auto-suggestions. Terribly designed auto-suggestions can mislead and confuse users. Employ spelling auto-corrections, identification of root words, and predictive text to enhance the tool.
- Provide speedy auto-suggestions, as it should appear as soon as the 3rd character is entered. It will present immediate usefulness and decrease the data entry efforts of the user.
- Information should not appear overwhelming.
- Feature the differences between information that was input by the user and the suggested one.
For creating any profitable site, the search is the critical element. Users prefer smooth and convenient experiences when looking for and learning about things. Further, typically they make swift decisions about the site’s utility with the quality of one or a couple of sets of search returns. A well-designed search facility should benefit users to search quickly and easily what they want.