Autosuggest helps users find what they are looking for without having to type-in the whole term, product name or key phrases saving user's time and also increasing the relevance ranking of the result they are looking for.
Mobile traffic to site search boxes have made the autosuggest a must have product feature that predicts the right terms or phrases for the user to click on rather than type-in the whole term. Mobile users are prone to entering incorrect spellings as evident from email messages sent from a mobile where it is common to see the phrase "Sent from mobile. Please excuse the typos".
#1 Autosuggest is a time saver for search users.
- Finding information is time consuming at various levels: using the right search terms, scrolling through the results, navigating through the multiple search results pages and determining which result is appropriate and deserves to be clicked on. If the incorrect result is clicked, or the correct link is not found then we have to go through the navigation links to go through each of the search pages to identify the appropriate document or web page. Using an autosuggest, where users can pick the right phrase makes a significant difference in reducing the number of results and ensuring the right results are shown with relevance.
#2 Discovery of terms, phrases or products found on a site can be challenging for any user.
- We assume the search user knows what to type in when they arrive at any site. How often do we find ourselves trying to come up with the right terms to use to identify the documents, web pages or products? We use variations of terms and phrases to finally locate what may be available on the site or even miss out on the right product or document when we fail to use the correct terms for search. Navigation to the document or product can take longer due to poor relevance when the right terms are not used.
- Autocomplete suggestions of available products and documents reassure the users to the availability of the right content and products on the site enabling the users to pick from a list of provided suggestions or redo their search allowing them to avoid pagination and relevance ranking issues which would have otherwise wasted the user's time.
In summary, the case for autocomplete is extremely important especially in a mobile first world. Site search without autocomplete or a suggestion feature reduces the effect of using any search due to the impact of misspellings, lack of reassurance and enabling discovery for site search service.
Contact SearchBlox to discuss how we can enable autosuggest on your search service with our AI-Driven SmartSuggest.