Navigation is for losers!

Website Search

Good Website Search is increasingly more important as websites and web solutions get more complex.

The complexity is based on more and content together with content from different sources e.g. Social media (twitter, blogs etc.) and Backed Systems (ERP etc.) which might be more or less controllable.

Good Website Search is giving access to relevant content fast and easy for the visitor.

Navigation is for losers!

The game is changing and there’s a major shift happening in the way we design websites.

I’ve been in endless meetings with heated discussions over website or intranet navigation and information architecture. Should the navigation be aligned following departmental structures, product lines or copied from the competitors? 

Once the navigation has been decided, the actual implementation often turns out to be complex and expensive. Subsequently, online analytics has unfortunately shown that the navigation is not being used as intended and user research has proved that the actual wording is misunderstood. 

Today, search has matured into the primary mode of navigation for an increased number of users. Not just the digital natives. Users, whether internal or external, quickly scan the site and then don’t bother decoding what’s behind your navigation. Instead, they often simply go to the search field or give up. 

Source: "Navigation is for losers!", Janus Boye

Best Website Search solutions often involve more than one Search approach to accomplish this

  • Helping the visitor navigate thou large amounts of content by using Faceted Search browsing different content facets.
  • When giving access to large amounts of non-homogeneous content a normal search box will fall short. Good Search would deliver Search Results clustered with categories that if chosen will deliver relevant content within the category.
  • Search results could also very from where on the Website Search is applied or personalized based on the visitors starting point or where the visitor came from, thus giving opportunity to apply differentiated relevancy, sorting etc.to gain more relevant results.
  • Making sure that the visitor gets results is done by use of concepts or alternative search words, to insure the most relevant search results by expanding query’s to match up organization’s terminology and by using Did you Mean? That provides alternatives word suggestions based on Fuzzy Logic and the actual content available on the Website.

Forward Search is a feature-rich solution for any Website Search need.