When most of us think about search engine result pages (SERPs) we often think of and therefore often revert to designing “list results”. We can thank Google & Yahoo for that. When it comes to displaying copy (articles, blogs, etc) based content that’s all well and good for your SERPs need to be scannable and contain text, but what about when results that can be chosen visually, such as an image/video gallery or eCommerce products? Then a “grid view” becomes a great option, or does it? The answer is… “it depends”.
It depends because in the wonderful world where UX and Web Analytics are woven together the experience that you are designing for is (should be) first rooted in a business goal (yes even before a user goal, trust me) and the decisions that you make along the way affect the outcome(s) of that goal(s). Do you want the majority of your clicks going to the first item or would you like them spread out? That decision alone could mean thousands or even millions of dollars to you or your client. How about how many to show on an entire page or in a single row? Will 4, 5, or 10 make the most impact? What questions should you ask your analytics people? The possibilities alone can be maddening to ponder, not to mention what KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that actually mean something useful (and I don’t mean pageviews and bounce rates) that can be tied to your design so it can be optimized over time.
Fortunately along with best practices there is a great deal of things that we analytics folks can measure and inform you about. And when those measurements are tied to a Monetization Model (a business model that guides you on how you will make or save money) things quickly fall into place. Lou and I have talked quite a lot on this and is something I use on all of my projects, so we’ll be including it in the book, as well as future posts, but in the mean time we found a lovely post to wet your appetite. Enjoy! Displaying Search Results: Grid View or List View?”
How you design your search results impacts what gets clicked
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