by anthony on 09/20/10 at 4:03 pm
Many websites offer a search function that enable users who know what they’re looking for to find content without having to browse. This saves users time and effort. However, what doesn’t save users time and effort is a search function that looks complicated to use. Websites that use the ‘Go’ button for search create an ugly and noisy mess that does users more harm than good. Luckily, there is a simple and clean way to do search that will make using the search function faster and easier.
By using a ‘Search’ button, instead of a ‘Go’ button, you cut the need for other labels. The search button clearly and sufficiently describes the action the system will do without extra labels. This keeps the text box clean, clear and visible for users to see. Because the word “search” has more characters in it than the word “go”, the button is bigger and easier for users to click.
The advantages to using a Search button are clear. Probably the biggest advantage for the designer is that it requires less work because there are less elements the designer needs to design and align. All you have is a button, text field and combo box (if needed). That’s it. Making your search simple and clean is easy to do. It’s a mystery why more designers don’t do it.
When you include unnecessary elements to a design, the result is always a decline in user efficiency and an increase in potential user problems. Not only that, but having more elements decreases the design’s aesthetic appeal. It’s best to seek the simple approach. Keep things simple, but not any simpler.