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Search: Visible and Simple

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Alertbox, Jakob Nielsen: Search is the user's lifeline for mastering complex websites. The best designs offer a simple search box on the home page and play down advanced search and scoping. We recently studied a large group of people as they shopped on various e-commerce sites. Their search success rate was: 1st query 51%, 2nd 32% and 3rd 18%. In other words, if users don't find the result with their first query, they are progressively less and less likely to succeed with additional searches. Many users don't even bother: In our study, almost half the users whose first search failed gave up immediately. Users almost never look beyond the second page of search results. It is thus essential that your search prioritize results in a useful way and that all the most important hits appear on the first page. (2001-05-27)

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Created by rdickelman
Last modified 2005-01-17 03:37 PM

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