17:4 Provide a Search Option on Each Page
Strength of Evidence:
Document Type: Guideline
Provide a search option in a standard place on each page of a content-rich website.
A search option should be provided on all pages where it may be useful–users should not have to return to the homepage to conduct a search. Search engines can be helpful on content-rich websites, but do not add value on other types of sites.
Designers should be careful not to rely too heavily on search engines. They are not a substitute for good content organization, and do not always improve users’ search performance. Designers should carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of including a search engine, and whether their website lends itself to automated searches.
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Nielsen, J. (1996a, May). Top ten mistakes in Web design. Retrieved November 2005, from http://www.useit.com/alertbox/9605.html.
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Spool, J.M., Scanlon, T., Schroeder, W., Snyder, C., & DeAngelo, T. (1997). Web Site Usability: A Designer’s Guide. North Andover, MA: User Interface Engineering.
Title: Search: Visible and Simple (Alertbox, May 13, 2001)
Description: Jakob Nielsen says a scoped search is useful in some situations.
Related Usability Guidelines: