Definition of objectif
Users have done some for of search or click on menu navigation of a product kind e.g. using a product navigation or Search Box or Advanced Search or Booking.
For more convineance we will speak about a « product » but this can be also news, travels…
Now the users need to find the needed product. The page should give as much accurate information as possible (depending on product type and website), so the user should be able to know wich product he wants without looking to detail page. (comparaison is an other topic)
Results must to be relevant and give has much info is needed to generate a user decision
Always think that users need to see the results so make them as clear as possible and give as space as you can.
The list will often be too long to be read so you need a paging system (1-10 results/page). The list should be list in a relevant order starting with the most relevant (can be price, location, most buy …). Most likely the only first page will be read by users (like on Google).
What topics should be shown
You need (depending but in general) :
– clear product naming
– main criteria’s
– link to the product on pictures, description, name
– Direct access to tools (comparison, buy, feedback, sorting, filters…)
Nice to have : feedback/quote
Others: find similar results
This is of course product oriented (if is a page search or word search the title with a link on it is to be first shown)
The description should be to the point/appropriate but has to be short 1-3 lines.
The page must also have the following organization:
– A top/header saying something like « Search Results » with the topics information like the product category or other
– search tools have to remain (normal and link to advance)
– site navigation, site map, FAQ, tips
– search navigation (evolution in the search)
– filter on top is the best
– sorting tools
– the results with paging system
“Linked” Filtering and sorting
Those two are crucial! Users will need them to find/play with the results in a user friendly way (ex : users wants to see the cheapest product, the product with the feedbacks.., users want to have a filter on only “that type of products”…). Like on www.pixmania.com.
One extra idea is to make them link filters, I mean when clicking on the filter the filtering is process without have to validate it, use extra drop boxes or buttons.
Filters should be on the main topics (categories, prices,…)
Sorting should be also on the main topics, it can be on the same and/or on others.
Think also how navigate in those filter tools (how to go back, how to show the users the evolution..) like on www.kelkoo.com
This of course to be thought before creating the page, this will give the main structure and will help users to focus when searching. This can also be use on search page, Advanced Search…
Don’t forget to use them wisely. Sometime is easier to use an icon some time a word… The can help you to win place but words will help you to be indexed by search engines..
Users experience enhances the search – Tag’s – popularity of search
Feedbacks, quotation, most searched topics, similar search … Those users information will give tools to the users. I can this users experience because thanks to the others user the actual users will have more information to decide. This will often give more subjectivity to your site and surely more weight to it.
So show the feedback, quotation on the result page. Make a sorting on it, use the most popular search to have a place like on www.kelkoo.com or http://del.icio.us/ . It’s a list of words who have be searched by other users and the most search the word have the bigger he is.