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March 22, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: search page

ZapposDavid Hatch points out:

This is the search page at

It is too overwhelming and should be simplified!


Ahahahaha! First!

Not broken. Everyone knows that it's a much better idea to have an amazingly cluttered and overwhelming interface full of drop-down boxes and advertisements than to have a simple search bar with an advanced search button next to it that links to an interface such as this one. I mean, someone might not see it and get vague search results and be dissatisfied! And then they could sue the company! Jesus Christ, it might be Kim Jong Il using the search, and he might get frustrated that his search isn't turning up what he wants so he'll nuke everything and blow up the world! Fixing this 'problem' might cause a nuclear war and widespread death!

Posted by: Bunda the Great at March 22, 2007 01:25 AM

Sure, they could have made each category a link or something instead of its own search box, but it's not really broken, just a bit cluttered. With a quick look you can tell what it's supposed to be doing.

BTW, Bunda, how do you suppose Kim Jong Il would find nuclear weapons under clothing?

Posted by: Fuzzy at March 22, 2007 07:27 AM

What Fuzzy said, it's not broken, just cluttered. They do have a quick search in the right sidebar and it works just fine. And the search options match their filters in every category, so it makes perfect sense if you've EVER SHOPPED ONLINE for a handbag or a pair of shoes (if you're a boy, you probably haven't).

What *is* broken, and this applies to every online retailer, is the price ranges. Who wants to buy a pair of shoes between $50-79? I want "$50 or less". or "$80 or less". or "$200 or less". It's a perfect example of programmers designing UI for the system instead of designers desgining a UI for human nature. Are there any online retailers who list price points the right way?

Posted by: bjanish at March 22, 2007 08:52 AM

Not to sound rude, but what does the term "broken" encompass? I guess if it is on the site (this is Broken) then I guess it is in one way or another broken. :) By the way, I think of this as "broken."


Posted by: Cameron at March 22, 2007 09:20 AM

Well, I think it's "broken" if it's unusable. This page is cluttered, ugly and somewhat intimidating at first glance... but David didn't say anything about how usable it is. Try it, it works fairly well, assuming you're actually searching for shoes, purses or eyewear. Not everything has to be pretty to be usable.

Posted by: bjanish at March 22, 2007 11:41 AM

I'd say yes, this is broken; if I was shopping for shoes, I'd take one look at this page and never come back.

Maybe having all these options is nice for shoe-experts, but I just want to click no more than three buttons: SNEAKERS, SIZE 8, BLUE. Done.

Posted by: MattyMatt at March 22, 2007 01:38 PM

I dunno... I went to their home page and while there was a lot of information, it appeared to be pretty well organized. When I went to the search page, it did look just as the picture showed, and again, it seems like a lot of info, but it isn't just stuff thrown all over the place, it is well ordered. Its fine for me, but I can see how it could be overwhelming.

Setting up the search page with a more step by step search might be better, starting off with less on the page.

I would be willing to work my way down through some search parameters instead of having them all there at once.

Posted by: Memnon at March 22, 2007 03:09 PM

"Not to sound rude, but what does the term "broken" encompass? I guess if it is on the site (this is Broken) then I guess it is in one way or another broken. :) By the way, I think of this as "broken."


Well, if you look at the top of this page, you'll see:

"A project to make businesses more aware of their

customer experience, and how to fix it. By Mark Hurst."

In terms of customer experience, if a significant portion of your customers are experiencing confusion when looking at your page, that is broken as far as the intent of this website.

As far as how to fix this, I think adding a drop-down box or two to select category first would allow this page to be simplified greatly, and thus avert confusion. A category drop-down box is very common on search pages and works very well, as far as I have seen.

Posted by: bkofford at March 22, 2007 06:59 PM

The Seth Godin video gives a pretty good explaination of what qualifies as broken.

Posted by: gmangw at March 23, 2007 12:56 AM

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