Using Search Boxes

One of the most important components of any website is a search box. Yet many people don't always use them correctly. Some users don't even understand the difference between a search on the site and web search.

  • To help them, it's best to create only one search box for the site. Adding additional search boxes will confuse users and distract them from their task, making them wonder which one to use. Less is more in this case.
  • Don't add the ability to search the web. Let people use their favorite search engine to do that and keep your site's search less complicated. If additional search options are needed, add an advanced search page.
  • Search results have to tell the user how many hits/products  are found and make them easy to browse and sort.  Make sure the hits differ enough so users don't think they got a faulty search engine that displays same hit over and over.
  • Minimize repetition between hits. Make each entry easy to understand so users don't need to click each and every one to see if they are relevant.
  • And don't forget that he standard position for a search box is in the right top corner. It would be counterproductive at this point to place it anywhere else - users expect it there.