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Designing Search: UX Strategies for eCommerce Success [Paperback]

Greg Nudelman , Pabini Gabriel-Petit

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Book Description

May 24 2011 UXmatters
Best practices, practical advice, and design ideas for successful ecommerce search

A glaring gap has existed in the market for a resource that offers a comprehensive, actionable design patterns and design strategies for ecommerce search—but no longer. With this invaluable book, user experience designer and user researcher Greg Nudelman shares his years of experience working on popular ecommerce sites as he tackles even the most difficult ecommerce search design problems. Nudelman helps you create highly effective and intuitive ecommerce search design solutions and he takes a unique forward-thinking look at trends such as integrating searching with browsing to create a single-finding user interface.

  • Offers much-needed insight on how to create ecommerce search experiences that truly benefit online shoppers
  • Juxtaposes examples of common design pitfalls against examples of highly effective ecommerce search design solutions
  • Presents comprehensive guidance on ecommerce search design strategies for the Web, mobile phone applications, and new tablet devices
  • Shares the author's years of unique experience working with ecommerce from the perspective of the user’s experience

Designing ecommerce Search is mandatory reading if you are interested in orchestrating successful ecommerce search strategies.

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Designing Search: UX Strategies for eCommerce Success + Search Patterns: Design for Discovery
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From the Back Cover

They've found you. Now be sure they can find what they want

People shop online because it's convenient. If your search application doesn't make it easy to find what they want to buy, they'll go somewhere else. It's that simple.

Designing a great search experience, however, isn't that simple. You need this book, full of UX design strategies and patterns that have been carefully developed, researched, and tested for success. Use them, and your customers will buy more, leave your store happier, and tell their friends and social networks about the positive experience they had using your site or mobile app.

  • Don't just add new features — create memorable, delightful search experiences

  • Turn "no search results" pages into new sales opportunities

  • Discover why shoppers behave as they do

  • Use "more like this" search to help your customers make quick decisions

  • Design intuitive search interactions using faceted search filters

  • Use contextual mobile search to create portable ecommerce solutions

  • Take full advantage of the unique design challenges and capabilities of tablet devices

  • Learn from case studies that put the design concepts into practice

  • Use novel search design patterns to trounce your competition

Go to for a bonus chapter introducing designing search features for ecommerce help systems and an appendix highlighting crucial best practices!

About the Author

Greg Nudelman is the founder of DesignCaffeine, Inc., a user experience design business consultancy specializing in search, social networking, business dashboards, and process redesign for mobile and Web platforms. Widely recognized as an experience design expert, Greg has published over 30 articles and speaks regularly to audiences around the world about how to design intuitive and elegant systems that improve the quality of people's lives while creating abundant ROI. He has led design projects for Fortune 500 companies and creative startups.

Launched by Founder and Publisher PABINI GABRIEL-PETIT in November 2005, the Web magazine UXmatters provides insights and inspiration to professionals working in every aspect of user experience (UX) — from strategy to design to user research. Its authors are leading thinkers and active participants in the UX community.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just take me to the detail page already ! June 17 2011
By Don Young - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've just finished reading Designing Search what a great book. I love shopping online, nothing beats knowing you're avoiding the drive to the mall, the irritating crowds you can sit at home listen to your favorite music and with coffee in hand get the bargain you always wanted. Well that's the theory anyway. I often find the browsing on sites confusing and so quickly turn to the search box. After all, it's search it'll work like Google right? Wrong! Just as with me by the time the average person gets to using the search function they've already given up on the site navigation so the one thing they desperately need now is a great search experience. All too often that's missing. In this book the author talks the reader through what makes a good search experience. He shows the user the major site search patterns and explains why they improve the user experience. There are contributions from some of the most highly regarded UX folk. This book will become an often reference that will time and time again provide a solution to the tricky problem of site search.

Currently Amazon isn't showing the book contents. I find this very annoying when trying to decide on a book. Take a look at the book contents, I'm sure you'll find something that's relevant to your e-commerce site right now.

Chapter 1 - Starting search from Zero: Winning strategies for no search results pages.

Chapter 2 - How shoppers search

Chapter 3 - Choosing the right search results

Chapter 4 - Balancing pogo-sticking and page relevance

Chapter 5 - Making $10,000 a pixel: Optimizing thumbnail images in search results

Chapter 6 - Best practices for ads in search results

Chapter 7 - Best practices for designing faceted search filters

Chapter 8 - Numeric Filters: Issues and best practices

Chapter 9 - Date Filters: Issues and best practices

Chapter 10 - The mystery of filtering by sorting

Chapter 11 - Designing query disambiguation solutes for online shopping

Chapter 12 - Introducing the more like this design pattern

Chapter 13 - Designing effective breadcrumbs

Chapter 14 - The brave new world of visual browsing

Chapter 15 - Designing mobile search: turning limitations into opportunities

Chapter 16 - Designing patterns for more effective mobile faceted search

Chapter 17 - Search on tablet devices: the flight of discovery

oh and just between you and me, there's a secret bonus chapter

Chapter 18 Search for ecommerce help systems
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The subtle art of search Dec 11 2011
By G Colborne - Published on
Search interfaces are incredibly difficult to get right - they need a great deal of tuning and refining because users expect a kind of magic from them. They're more than just a text box and a list of results, though. A great search interface delivers that 'magic' through a combination of smart algorithms and subtle interface elements that draw the user into refining her search and spotting just the right answer.

This book focusses on the latter - how the interface should look and work to help the user to make the right choices almost unconsciously. Much of the focus is Ecommerce - drawing from the author's experience and examples in this field. I like this because search is crucial to Ecommerce - get it wrong and you lost money. So these are patterns that come from the toughest environment. Yet the advice holds good whether you're designing a document search for an intranet or an online help system.

The approach is clear, the design patterns are well explained and backed up with case studies from the author and some wonderful user interface experts from IBM to small start-ups.

No matter what your project, you'll never be given sufficient time to explore and design the search interface. But with this book at your side, you'll have a massive head start.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential for all web & software designers June 25 2012
By Nathanael Boehm - Published on
This is THE book on designing search for websites and software that designers should own. Comprehensive, well-researched and illustrated with lots of examples. Even touches on Augmented Reality and Near-Field Computing which I don't imagine getting to play with for a few years yet. Personalised search, social search, mobile search, recommendation systems ... it's all here.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent analysis April 16 2012
By wary consumer - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Points out the good and bad ideas that o.e may ha ve not noticed otherwise. Excellent design patternsand a good explanation of design patterns
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A baseline guide that all interaction designers should read July 28 2011
By Christopher - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Once in a (very infrequent) while a book comes along that provides its readers with an exceptionally detailed foundational reference on a subject, Designing Search: UX Strategies for eCommerce Success is such a book.

The author shares his considerable experience with the reader taking him/her on a well structured journey through all facets of eCommerce search, a topic that is critical to the success of any mobile eCommerce company. The author provides examples and patterns explaining the when and why of each example and the how via patterns which the reader can instantly take away and incorporate into their own sites.

[Note: I found myself printing out existing designs I have done and marking them up like crazy as I went through the book]

While the book is focused primarily on mobile eCommerce Search I found that the text got me thinking about other areas the patterns could be applied - again it's scaffolding, you not only learn the patterns but why these patterns are chosen.

A nice addition you rarely see in books is a comprehensive bibliography for the examples allowing the reader to delve further into the topic.

This book should/will become a classic on the subject and an often thumbed reference by the reader. If you are a ui/ux practitioner, a developer who wants to know more about what works and why or are a manager who wants/needs a grounding in what your designers are doing this is the book for you.

Designing Search: UX Strategies for eCommerce Success is a combination of great reference and great how-to guide. I think it will make you a better designer and I highly recommend it.

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