Does anybody enjoy search result pages? No. Of course not! They want to get past it and into the content they care about. With that goal in mind, the search results page was a major focus of our platform redesign. Here, we'll focus on the individual result styling.
Assessing the Problem - Too Much On Each Result!
Over time, a lot of additional features and ideas had found their way into the interface, causing search results to feel heavy and unbalanced. Because of this, search results were no longer serving the ultimate goal of getting people away from search and into content. Here were problems we identified with the search results:
- Hierarchy problems – result title isn't even at the top of the result!
- Unclear labeling – not immediately obvious what each metadata item is
- Too many options / buttons - options overwhelm and styling is inconsistent
Building a Better Result
We performed extensive usability tests with the goal of understanding what students need to evaluate whether they wanted to read the article or not. We looked to understand which metadata pieces were important, how easily identifiable they were in the new concepts, and looked at years of usage data to see which buttons and filters were getting used. Here are the biggest changes:
- Improved hierarchy - result title stands out, most important metadata is labeled and secondary metadata comes after
- Removal of unneccessary metadata – some metadata, like publication city, was removed because it wasn't helping students evaluate whether they wanted to read the article or not.
- Removal of unneccessary buttons - fewer buttons are provided because of low usage and their presence is reduced when they are present
Ask me more!
That's a brief overview of just one aspect to the larger platform redesign project. Here are some discussion topics I'd love to dive into deeper with you. Let's talk!
- Filter usage helped us understand which metadata was most important - ask me how else the design changed because of filter usage
- How did we measure the impact of these changes?
- How'd we actually do our usability testing? Campus visits, in-product recruiting, customer surveys, and more