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  • Search Bars: Sometimes Simple is Best

    Posted on January 31st, 2012 lisskane No comments

    While reading “Man-Computer Symbiosis” I was struck by the discussion of the need for a more efficient way to locate items on a computer than a serial search. I started thinking about how many times a day I use engines like google, the finder on my macbook or the command F to locate random words within pages of text. Having easy and convenient search abilities makes having a computer a hundred times more useful. I decided to search articles on searching. I came across “Designing the Holy Search Box: Examples and Best Practices” on smashingmagazine.com. I found the article interesting in that it did discuss how convenient the search bar is, but also how a simplified version of it is important. The author of the article György Fekete called a search bar not only helpful but “crucial” and even a “user’s lifeline to mastering complex websites”. If a websites content is confusing or unorganized, a user is either going to use a given search box or leave the site entirely. But he says that because the search box is so crucial, it should actually be simple and not complex. Although the technology is there to make it more advanced a simple search bar is best. Problems in search bars come in when they are hard to find or use. Or when they are connected to areas of the site, or other sites, that do not relate to what the user is looking for. (Such as a newsletter box). Fekete continues to go into do’s and dont’s of creating search bars. I never realized how much could go into a search bar or even thought about how it could stray wrong. The article was interesting and I have found that smashingmagazing.com has a lot of tech related articles that appear to be intriguing if anyone is struggling with finding them.

    http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/12/04/designing-the-holy-search-box-examples-and-best-practices/

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