Visible and noticeable scoped search helps users to navigate by recognition and giving them control over the type of information they want to find.
Search results are sorted by best first, visually clear, accessible, and actionable.
I interviewed customers to gain insight on common flows and pain points, then researched various real-estate and known web applications for commonly used design patterns to help guide design decisions moving forward.
User interviews revealed that search is commonly used but isn't helpful enough
The search is an entry point to two different task flows that require different focus and actions.
I ideated on different design patterns and flow combinations. I continued to iterate and refine the wireframes while testing the information architecture and flow with users.
One of the main challenges I faced while designing this experience was:
Search is a complex and expensive feature. Technical constraints play a big role in the design.
During iterations, we found that trying to fit all task flows overcomplicates and overloads the user experience.
I found that slimming down functionality (by separating into a new feature) will simplify the flow and will allow a more robust and intuitive experience.
Exploring filters that are visible before focus, but might be hidden during search VS. filters that are displayed on focus interaction and actionable during the search.
Using dot voting and user feedback, I decided to go with the subtle approach that is less distracting on a crowded page and more flexible to use.
Separated functionalities in the redesigned search increased findability and reduced completion time of locating employees and spaces. Also, search is scalable by design to add value with less effort.
I learned that "Less is More" - decoupling capabilities into few flows can help the users to accomplish their tasks and also be much more satisfied.
Also, always ask your users instead of assuming for them - I was proved wrong to assume few users preferences and task flows, that affected the search re-design
And last but not least, since search is a complex and expensive feature, involving the development team from the start (=research phase) is important. The team will understand user needs and help find the optimal solution.