Does your site search work for your users?

by Esther Tyreman / Website Design / 0 Comments

Search forms the basis of every customer journey; whether it’s a query on a search engine or a product search on a website, it is a fundamental activity. If you don’t get this critical aspect of your website right, then users will become frustrated and most likely to go elsewhere.

Users have certain expectations when heading online so your website must meet, and ideally exceed, these expectations. Your “search” bar or box should be in a convenient spot; most users expect to see it in the top left of your website. Your search button should be prominent, consider using a clashing colour to make it stand out.

Some sites may opt for a small search box that only allows you to enter a word or short phrase, but due to the evolution of search, many people now want to use longer phrases to try and get an accurate result. Your search box should accommodate at least 27 characters, if it doesn’t then your users may begin to use short, incomplete queries and will become frustrated when they don’t get the results that they were expecting.

If users type in a search query and don’t find what they are looking for, the chances are they will want to alter their search query slightly. If the initial search term has been deleted then this can become irritating. Your search offering is there solely to improve the customer’s experience; you should make it as easy as possible to assist them on their journey. Auto-suggestions help the user to find what they are looking for quickly and with less hassle. The suggestions should be relevant to what the user is looking for, for example, if they type “Striped Jumper” there’s no point bringing up spotty skirts! There shouldn’t be too many suggestions; if the customer has to scroll through suggestions then it defeats the object of a simple search.

If you’re looking to improve the usability of your website and offer your customers a better experience, then Bitlab can help. We work with you to understand your goals and your audiences needs to design a bespoke website that is built for your business. To find out how we can help you then contact our team on 0330 041 4564 or email

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