Friday, February 29, 2008

The Ultra Rich Search Experience

The definition and UX of Rich Search ...

"After getting lots of great feedback on my Seek or Show Design Paradigms entry, I though I would elaborate a bit on each starting with Seek (Search).

Ajax, Flex and Laszlo have provided us with away to replace the effort intensive, page based search with a simple, more responsive user interface. Why should we move away from the traditional search design? Because it is inefficient, cumbersome, and designed around technical constraints that no longer apply.

Traditional Search

Requires lots of effort to find, refine, and explore the results. Searching starts with a keyword or multiple criteria and many pages of results are returned. The user must then refine the result set. Lots of back and forth ensues, while navigating from the ’search results page’ to the ‘detail page’ and back again.

Rich Search

Requires minimal effort to seek, refine and explore results. Refine options are integrated in the results screen. The results are dynamically refined when selections are made- no page refreshes. Multiple levels of details are readily available.

The Principles of a Rich Search

The user experience should include:

* Multiple view options
* Scrollable results (versus paging of results)
* Integrated refine feature
* Progressive disclosure of details
* Save functionality available (search, results or both)
* Ability to change initial Search terms without leaving the screen
"    (Continued via Looks Good Works Well, Theresaneil’s Weblog)    [Usability Resources]

Rich Search Diagram - Usability, User Interface Design

Rich Search Diagram


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