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User Experience Toolkit

Advanced Search

Advanced Search provides users with the ability to perform complex searches based on specific criteria not readily available in a basic search.

What Problem Does this Solve?

Advanced Search solves the inflexibilities in basic search. A basic search usually provides users with a finite amount of control over the quality or the context of a search. An advanced search solves this by providing users with a larger set of input, usually allowing a user to clearly identify more meta date to help refine the search criteria.

What is the Solution?

When Advanced Search is available to a user, it should be discoverable within a close proximity to the basic search or it should appear under logical navigation.

Image showing where Amazon places advanced search

Amazon's Home Page

Image showing where Yahoo places advanced search

Yahoo's Search results page

Advanced Search should be implemented on its own page as its a separate process. The controls on this separate search page should then clearly define all of the criteria that a user would need in relation to the avaliable context(s) of the advanced search.

section displaying a portion of the Yahoo Advnaced search page

Yahoo's Advanced Search page.

When to Use this Pattern

Advanced Search should only be implemented where a users' search requirements cannot be satisfied by a basic search function.

How to Use this Pattern

There is no set pattern for the amount of inputs that should be available to the user in an advanced search. It is best practice to make advanced search screens as broad as possible, based upon on context. If the search criterias change based upon different topics/contexts, only display the search criterias related to the specific context.

Image of the amazon search page.

Amazon's Advanced Search page.

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