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Designing Web Interfaces by Theresa Neil, Bill Scott

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Live Search

Yet another close relative to both Auto Complete and Live Suggest is Live Search. As with Live Suggest, a search query is being formulated. But instead of displaying suggested search terms, actual live search results are shown in real time.

A clear example of this is ZUGGEST[51] for Amazon. Not affiliated with Amazon.com, Francis Shanahan created a Live Search for Amazon products (see Figure 13-8).

ZUGGEST for Amazon is a third-party way to search Amazon using the Live Search pattern

Figure 13-8. ZUGGEST for Amazon is a third-party way to search Amazon using the Live Search pattern

Considerations

Providing in-context, real-time results to queries as they are typed is a powerful way for users to find what they are looking for. Live Suggest sets up a tight feedback loop for finding the right query. However, the actual search results are shown outside this iterative feedback loop. Live Search, on the other hand, creates a tight feedback loop directly with the search results themselves.

How does the handling of interesting moments differ between Auto Complete and Live Suggest?

Typing

Since returning search results generally takes longer than the time between typing characters, searching should wait for the user to stop typing. This allows feedback to happen at times when it will not be distracting, as well as providing better user experience performance. While ZUGGEST does not provide a Busy Indicator or Progress Indicator, it is a good idea to provide this feedback ...

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