Typically, users know what they’re searching for even before they choose a search engine over the site’s navigation. In this investigation, I’d like to explore how we can provide a user interface to help them search more effectively before they get started.
This investigation is about the ordering and structure of the search fields themselves, not the results, which have been the topic of much discussion already. For reference, I will refer to these interfaces in one of four ways: Standard, Surfacing, Qualifying, and Passive interfaces. (more…)