Designing Search: As-You-Type Suggestions

17 May 2012 at 21:58 Leave a comment

Designing search: nice summary of autocomplete -> autosuggest -> instant results by Tony Russell-Rdse.…

Summary here:

Although most of us are familiar with Google’s iconic “I’m Feeling Lucky” button, few of us use it; we know that search problems of any complexity require an iterative approach, comprising the creation and reformulation of queries. As-you-type suggestions have become invaluable in this experience. Auto-complete is better suited for known-item search and simple information retrieval tasks. Auto-suggest works well for exploratory search and complex information seeking tasks. And instant results provide a direct channel from queries to answers.

Use auto-complete to:

  • Facilitate accurate and efficient data entry
  • Select from a finite list of names or symbols

Use auto-suggest to:

  • Facilitate novel query reformulations
  • Select from an open-ended list of terms or phrases
  • Encourage exploratory search (with a degree of complexity and mental effort that is appropriate to the task). Where appropriate, complement search suggestions with recent searches

Use instant results to:

  • Promote specific items or products

Entry filed under: search interface. Tags: .

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