Which Canon? PAGE 170
Show Related Searches PAGE 172
Default to Category PAGE 174
Present a Prominent Category Selector PAGE 176
Case Study: Home Depot Query Disambiguation Redesign Using the Expanding Category Widget Design Pattern PAGE 178
Clarify, Then Refine, by Daniel Tunkelang PAGE 182
Our language is limited and imperfect. Typical search queries executed quickly and with little forethought are even more so. When a customer constructs a query that can have more than one meaning, a quality search interface must provide the tools to help the customer define the query in less ambiguous terms, so the search results more closely match the person's intended topic. This process is known as disambiguation, and best practices for doing this effectively are the subject of this chapter.
Recently, I came across Kosmix.com—a new search engine promising a combined search and browse approach. I was curious, so I put this new search app through its paces by typing a query Canon. As shown in Figure 11.1, Kosmix returned a great variety of search results. In addition to images of cameras, the new search engine displayed results for the company profile typed in for investment purposes, Pachelbel's “Canon” (which is a famous piece of music) and (to my great surprise) a Canon mattress pad and a Canon ottoman, both of which were prominently featured in the products section. Unfortunately, these results represented ...