*** Originally posted on the Adaptive Path Blog ***
Recently on projects I've found myself designing a number of search results pages. While each project has its own set of requirements and nuances, I think there are a handful of elements that should be included in most all result page interfaces. If you start out with this list, and then tweak as your situation requires, I think you'll end up with a pretty good page.
Here are the items on my checklist, in no particular order:
- Highlight the query term in the results.
- Restate the query on the results page.
- Show the number of results that were found.
- Include next and previous buttons, as well as links to additional pages, to move through results. These should be smartly linked; no link on previous if you are on the first page and so on.
- Include a query box so the user can search again.
- Don't show the URLs of the result pages, unless your audience is techy enough to derive meaning from the URL.
- Have meaningful page titles and descriptions for each result.
- The page title should be the link to the result.
- Allow sorting and refinement tools if appropriate for your users and content.
- Indicate if a result is not a regular page (e.g., a PDF file).
What items do you have on your checklist?