Back in February I had the chance to beautify and add suggested results to our search on the wooster.edu website. Since then, I’ve used data about how our search is used to create more suggested results, making it easier for our search users to find the information that they are (most likely) looking for.
I’ve known that the majority of our searches are for a handful of frequently viewed pages on our site, pages like the academic calendar, Lowry menu and employment. During a conference I attended this October, there was a lot of discussion about using analytics to improve your site and methods to do so – That’s when I saw an opportunity to further improve our search with the addition of an autocomplete box.
By adding the most commonly searched phrases to an autocomplete box, our users will no longer have to type the entire phrase out. In addition to this, selecting a phrase will now take our users directly to the page they are (most likely) looking for. This eliminates the search result page in between, shortening the time it takes for a user to find what they are looking for.
If the phrase does not exist in the autocomplete or does not take them to the page they are looking for, the previous search functionality is accessible by using enter or clicking on the search button.
Thoughts, questions, phrase suggestions? Let me know!