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Little Tips & Tricks vol.1: The Search Bar

Looking for better SEO and overall knowledge of your users? There are a few simple things you can do that can improve your website/software drastically. And they’re really not so hard.

First on the list: ADD A SEARCH BAR.

Maybe you have no need for a search bar. Your website is clean and efficient – your header bar has all your pages right in front of the user…it’s not as though you have a glossary or anything for someone to sift through. So why would you add a search bar to your home page?

Understanding your users’ wants and needs is your number one priority when designing your website/software. Usability dictates that all options and paths be not only visible but so obvious the user doesn’t even need to think. But any good usability tester will tell you – even after all of that work your message may not be the one getting through. Sometimes it’s something as basic as font color or size that misleads your user – it could be any number of things. (This is why usability testing is so important).

As a good practice – do yourself a favor and add a search bar to your home page. Not only will it help to ease frustration your user might develop while trying to find something, it takes the guesswork out of your frustration as well.

“What are users looking for that they can’t find?”
“What are users looking for that I don’t have?”
“Is there something being missed that I am unaware of?”

Generally your search bar will give you hints as to what needs to be improved on your page. Or what your user wants that you are not providing. I am not saying it can solve all your problems (and if it could, I probably wouldn’t be telling you) but it can help.

Oh, and if you put a search bar – make sure to top it off with the basic search “logo”. (You know, the magnifying glass?). Consistency is key.

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