Advanced Search provides users with the ability to perform complex searches based on specific criteria not readily available in a basic search.
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.
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.
Amazon's Home Page
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.
Yahoo's Advanced Search page.
Advanced Search should only be implemented where a users' search requirements cannot be satisfied by a basic search function.
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.
Amazon's Advanced Search page.
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