Search Box acts as an interaction channel between the user and system. The user accesses the information through a query, and the system responds to the user request as a set of search results. For any website which is informative and content based on the whole, Search Box is then a critical element.
The article shares five exclusive tips that beneficially improves 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 done by A. Dawn Shaikh and Keisi Lenz reveals that the most user expected position of the search box is the top left or top right area on any webpage.
Placing the search box in the user expected positions on the website ensures that it will quickly get their attention. Though on the whole, the UX designer that you hire should not fail to manage the box with website design while keeping it stand out slightly. More the website is content-based, more visible the search box should be.
2. Proper Search Input Field Size:
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. With HTML5 designers can easily inside the input field include text as a placeholder. If there is search functionality for multiple criteria, explain using the input hint pattern. Though at the same time ensure that limit your hint to just some words, otherwise, the cognitive load will get increased.
4. Keep Initial User’s Query in The Search Box:
Don’t erase the original search query that 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. 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 a 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 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 site’s utility with the quality of one or couple of sets of search returns. A well-designed search facility should benefit users to search quickly and easily what they want.