UXasm

Some Stuff About User Experience, eCommerce, Social Media & etc.

Tag Archives: faceted navigation

The Psychology of Faceted Navigation

When we use Google to explore the web, we’re happy to accept the fact that we’re venturing through a wild, open and sprawling information space. There’s always the possibility there’s a haystack out there we haven’t discovered yet, and in it, there might be some great needles that we want to find out about. Sometimes that’s part of the fun.

Our expectations are very different when we search an individual website. For example, when we carry out a search on a classifieds or e-commerce site, we expect it to be able to show us every single item it has that matches our criteria. To use an analogy, imagine if you went into camera shop on the high street and asked to see all of their digital SLRs. Imagine if the sales assistant responded by showing you a few cameras, but then admitted that there might be more items in the back room, possibly better deals, and that you’d need to try re-articulating your requirements in various different ways to find out. A crazy idea. You’d think they were incompetent and walk out.

A shop assistant should know what stock they have, and they should be able to match it against your requirements. The same goes for websites.

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