Site designers must create sophisticated — but simple — search engines capable of delivering the goods on the user’s first search query. preprocess


You cannot sell a product if your customers cannot find it. In our usability study of 20 US e-commerce websites, our users had a success rate of only 64% in searching for — and finding — what they wanted. Given this low rate, Web designers and developers must treat the search function as a critical element of building a profitable e-commerce site. preprocess


The typical user tested three of our 20 selected sites in a test session lasting two hours. Each site was tested by a minimum of nine users, six from the US and three from Denmark. We chose sites in seven different industries (such as clothing and toys) so that within each industry we had two or three sites for comparison. preprocess


A Model for Search preprocess

  • • The user notices the website supports search. preprocess
  • The user formulates a wish preprocess
  • The user expresses the wish as a search query string preprocess
  • The user enters the search string and submits the query preprocess
  • • The user receives and interprets the search results. preprocess
  • If the search fails, the website provides an error or No Results message. preprocess
  • The user notices the message preprocess
  • • The user interprets the message preprocess
  • The user corrects the problem if possible preprocess


by: Jakob Nielsen Rolf Molich Carolyn Snyder Susan Farrell preprocess

      Nielson Norman Group

Target group: Starter
Language: English
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Authors: Docent Ecommerce

Document type: Research Study

Publication date: 01-10-2000

Number of pages: 51

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