How would your products sell if users were not able to find it? Imagine, a mobile eCommerce store in the form of an Android app, selling thousands of products and services. How can an Android app user possibly find a relevant product?
The search box is the fundamental requirement of an app, especially when it comes to an eCommerce store. People are sure to get lost within your app if they are not able to find things with ease. Product or category search within the app is what builds a smooth mCommerce UI/UX experience.
An excellent search is the one helping users to get to their desired page quickly, without much effort required or consuming time. The app should do the scanning based on keywords provided, so as the dirty work should not be in the users’ hands.
#1. Position the search box in a visible area
There are two primary ways in which you can design your search bar. One is showing your search bar as a drawer, which opens up only when search is clicked upon. While another is showing a search bar right away; a traditional old textbook format.
It is wise to go for the second option because users have no time to open a search box and then search for products. They want to search multiple products altogether. In addition, if every time they have to open the search function, it can be irritating. Hence, keep your search clearly visible and recognizable easily.
a. Keep it in the display right at the top – Position the search box right at the top. Users want to discover things very fast and therefore they should get an immediate access to the search bar as soon as they land upon a screen. If they have to find the search bar before even finding their own relevant products, it could be frustrating and slowing down the entire eCommerce cycle.
b. Place a magnifying glass icon beside the search box – Few icons enjoy a universal appeal from users all around the globe. The magnifying glass is one such example. It is meant to search something. Placing it beside the search bar will strengthen the impact and let users scan the search bar among other elements on the same screen.
#2. Comprehend the query on user behalf
Search requires users to work more as they have to search for a query. Moreover, in case there is a typo error, the activity gets more time consuming, especially when doing it on mobile screens. Have your app cut down on user efforts and provide them things before they even ask.
a. Auto-suggestions guiding users to what they are looking for – It is very difficult for users to formulate queries. If they perform a mistake on the first try, they have to do it again and this way more time is wasted. Instead, it is better to offer them query suggestions, so that no time is wasted in spelling out the queries properly.
The mechanism is all about guiding a user in order to help them have a constructive approach in searching a query. Ensure that the right autosuggestions turn up guiding users in the right direction. Poor autosuggestions will not only distract users but also confuse them. Henceforth, offer them predictive text functionality, root words identification, and auto-corrections for spelling text correctly.
b. Help users with recent searches – Users would be majorly interested in things they have searched lately. If recent searches show up instantly then they will not be going through the pain of searching those things all over again.
#3. Progress indicators hold on to user patience
If search results are displayed instantly then there is no need for loading bars. However, what if the search is taking time? A visual feedback is very important for letting users wait without getting frustrated. Slow loading times can annoy users and they might even lose their focus as well. It is vital to make them realize that loading time is not as slow as perceived.
a. Placeholders for search – There is no need for feedback with delays taking place under 5 seconds. However, if the search is going to take more than 5 seconds, you need to make the whole waiting experience pleasant, by providing temporary information on why the loading is taking place. Doing it creatively only makes things better.
b. Slow and gradual loading – It is a technique, wherein you load partial elements or components of a page while the remaining page still loading. This enables users to check out loaded elements while the rest is loading. Hence, impatient users have the option to scan the products already showing up.
#4. Displaying search results effectively
Search results will do the trick only if useful. It is not only important to have search results show up speedily, but they also should be relevant to the context.
a. Highly relevant to be seen first – Mobile screens are very small. Hence, it becomes even more important to let users see relevant search results without actual scrolling. Put the most relevant and useful ones on the top, so that users are able to see their desired result maybe within the first 5 results.
b. Allow users to sort and filter – Showing relevant results is alone not useful, especially when there are too many to show. Users get overwhelmed with excessive results because it then becomes confusing to track the best option. Filtering and sorting helps to narrow down results and organized for an easy viewing.
c. Option for users to search within results – Help users to search within the search results, letting them have an incredible control over the list of products. This will help them to search for exact precise products.
d. Have an entertaining “No Results” page in place – While users are searching for results, it is bound for them to land upon a no results page frequently. If these “no results” pages are plain and boring, they can act as a dead end, with most users simply switching off the app instantly.
It is very difficult for users to distinguish the menu categories and then interpret them accordingly. Navigation has to be clear with no overlapping, or wrong positioning. If users have to put some extra efforts into locating things, then they will find the app cumbersome to handle.
Some final words to conclude …
With too many apps launching on Android Play Store every single day, and with eCommerce apps increasing more than ever, the stakes have only gone higher. Your app should be flexible enough to accommodate all types of results related to product characteristics, products, categories, and more.
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