Share these talks and lectures with your colleaguesInvite colleagues
Searching and finding: A lifelong quest
How do users search? This question is quite crucial for user experience, since why would users go online if to look for something? There is always a goal to accomplish, a need to fulfil when users visit websites. Searching is something very basic to human nature: in some senses the whole life is a quest for something. We have been observing users using search functions on different websites and we were surprised at how much small things mattered. The search function needs to be prominent and immediately accessible on the home page, users want typing in a search term to be as easy as possible. We found the relevance of search results is one of the most criticised issues: users feel frustrated when search results do not match. We explored other options to make searching and finding more fun and we found that users like swiping when shopping. Combining swiping with categories for different products helps users narrow search results. Getting too many search results can be a problem because many online shoppers tend to scroll and browse through products without using filtering or sorting options. In Summary: the ideal search function should be like a good therapist: repeating what the user told him, and making meaningful and suitable suggestions. Therapists say getting what you need—not what you want—makes you happy. So it is doubtful whether Google’s approach for proactive search with artificial intelligence will make people happy: ‘Giving you what you want before you know you want it’.
The full article is available to institutions that have subscribed to the journal
Sabrina Duda is Head of User Experience at VERJ (LAB Group) in London, UK. She earned her master of science degree in psychology at Humboldt University and specialises in engineering psychology and cognitive ergonomics. She has over 20 years’ experience in user research, including roles at Valtech, Experian, Zava and the UK Ministry of Justice. In 1999, she founded eye square, one of the first usability agencies in Germany. Sabrina uses lean and agile user experience methods, remote user research methods and the Government Digital Service design approach.