A good search experience can lead to more retention, and probably more sales and a bad one sends them away. With that in mind, here are some simple ways to make the search input’s best use.
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Do’s and Don’ts of the Search Box Implementation
Since the search box is an important element in a website, it is essential to implement it the right way. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Visibility and prominence
The search widget or the bar has to be visible to the user. That ensures the user does not move away from the site and leads to retention. So make the bar prominent so that it can be seen and becomes more usable.
Multiple input options
Give multiple input options so that the users are not forced to click on the search icon. Include query completion options and suggestions when using the search query.
Do not make it rigid and allow typos. Ensure that the users do not have to log in to search your website; that is annoying, to say the least!
Do not use placeholders without labels
Avoid using placeholders without a label to make the search box more accessible. When assistive technologies are used, the labels act as input instead of considering it as a label. Another thing to bear in mind is to placeholder text is light grey, and that makes the contrast against a white background poor. So choose a color with a higher contrast so that the text looks like a search text.
Include ‘Search’ on every page and also where people expect it. Also, it should be large enough so that the text entered is seen by the user. The font size is usually at least 16px. Most users do not have a perfect vision and maybe working in not so bright places, which can affect the vision, so keep the text large.
Use search attribute
When coding for the search bar, consider using the attribute Search. The code should look like this <label for=”search”>Search</label><input id=”search” type=”search”>. This helps screen readers identify the purpose of this element. Adding this attribute gives you the X option for clearing texts, which is another advantage.
Use voice search
Try to include voice queries, as that makes it more user-friendly. It is a great option to have for people who have difficulty typing.
Other things to do:
- Include a magnifying glass icon next to the search label so that it can be expanded.
- Show recent searches as a majority of the search queries are repeated. So it is best to cache the search suggestions.
- Finally, test the search bar to see if it produces the desired results before launching it to the public.
Building a Search Box
There are various ways to include a search box on the site. The easiest is to use the google site search, but there are other options too like:
- Creating a responsive search using a form
- Add a search script using PHP or Perl.
- Use a third-party provider.
- Use the Google site search service to build a basic search bar.
Follow the above-mentioned tips while building a search bar and reap the benefits.
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