Search Interface of CNKI

Wanyi Chen

CNKI is the largest academic database in China. It’s similar to Academic Search Premier.

One guideline it successfully addresses:

Reduce short term memory load

It suggests the search action by placing grayed-out texts in the entry form.

Aside from viewing search history by clicking the bar on the left, if you click the circled icon beside the search terms, a new window will pop up to show you your latest search terms, like shown below:

One guideline it does not addresses:

Reduce errors

If I misspell a word, CNKI gives me no clue to the correct spelling, which it should. If I get zero results, it also doesn’t give me any suggested steps.


I just think that this is an interesting feature of CNKI. The other option of the drop-down box is “fuzzy.” I believe it allows users to choose which side of the precision-recall trade off they want.

I think the feature of the search engine that Discogs does the best is the implementation of small details. The facets of the search engine make it easy to refine your query to be able to find exactly what you want to the finest detail.

However discogs fails to use pleasing aesthetics. The search engine in general is very clunky and bland in general with a lot of white space.

This search engine is ‘Discogs’ it is the largest internet music database with more than 4 million artists listed on the site. The site also catalogs physical items such as vinyl and CD’s that allow users to buy and sell physical items. - Zach Lennane

Search Interface for JSTOR

India Benson

JSTOR is a digital library that contains academic journals, books, and pamphlets.

One guideline that the interface successfully addresses:

Offer Efficient and Informative Feedback

Query terms are highlighted, allowing the searcher to view the context in which the word appears.

One guideline that the interface does not address:

Reduce Errors

If a word is misspelled, a “No Results Found” page will appear. It suggests that you check your spelling, but it doesn’t provide any spelling corrections.

Reduce errors: I typed “Miint” instead of “Mint” and got back 0 results. Their searches do not account for typos/misspellings.

Importance of aesthetics:

This company displays good quality photos of the products they are selling.

Emily Gabbard

Chris Cosgrove

Polygon is a gaming website that provides news for upcoming and current games.

One guideline it does address: importance of aesthetics

  • Results for a search show the box art for the game(s) that are being searched.

One guideline it does not address: reduce errors

  • If I were to type in “Haloo” instead of “Halo”, it would not give me a spell check or suggestion to what I wanted. An error in spelling can end with different results. (Ex: HP and the Deathly Hallows)

Search Interface for Polygon

Deanna Milunas

To reduce short-term memory load, this interface prompts the user to “search keyword” in the query box. This gray worded text indicates that by typing into the box, the system will search through its document base for that word. In addition, this interface integrates navigation and search through its use of drop down menus from the labels at the top of the page, allowing the user to navigate to various pages without ever needing to type in a query.

The interface fails in correcting errors. When the query “Nrth Carolina” is made, it produces an empty result set, signifying that it failed to correct the spelling error.

Clifton Orcel

Soundcloud: an original music hosting and sharing; social media resource for original and cover artists, as well as DJ’s and labels

This site is successful at using 1.6.1 (Ranking Order). The search returns both Steph (more relevant) and Dell (less relevant). The two players share a last name, but one return is more relevant than the other.

The search engine fails to implement 1.5.3 (search by various criteria). The search engine only gives the user a search box to use. It could give options for position, team, decade, etc.

Kyle Ellison

Kiet Huynh

Efficient and Informative Feedback

Relays the deal’s popularity, expiration status, price, and allows for filtering by criteria

Succeeds at

Does not reduce errors well with spelling errors

Authentic Jobs

Sanjana Krishnan

A job board for designers, hackers, and creative pros.

Interface does not address:

Reduce errors: I typed in “deesigner” instead of “designer,” and this did not report back with any results, which means that the interface does not account for spelling errors.

Interface successfully addresses:

Reduce short-term memory load: The interface suggests the search action in the entry form in gray text. description: is an online store that offers a search engine for rare, old, and discontinued soda pop.

Guideline it addresses: “Reduce Short term memory load” - at, above the search bar an individual is able to navigate to the information of interest by following links or narrowing by selecting category prompts like “Regular Flavors,” “Diet or Sugar Free,” “speciality,” and “Discontinued.”

Guideline it doesn’t address: Reduce Errors- On this very unique site, if you have have a typo, for instance by typing “cok” instead of “coke,” the search interface will not return any results. It will only show a prompt claiming: your search was unsuccessful. There is also no list of suggested spelling changes.

Logan LaFata

Ela Hazar The site is successful in providing shortcuts for the users. For example on the top right, there is clear option to press either Division 1, 2 and 3 for each lacrosse program. It’s an easy way to see all the rankings and different statistics from recent and non-recent lacrosse games. There is also a good balance between the layout of the page. The white space inbetween the pictures allows the viewer to clearly see which team they want to read up on.

Brandon Reddick The site “eastbay” successfully uses shortcuts for its users as well as a faceted navigation interface. For example there are quick option based on gender/age, sport, brand, etc. But also there are choices under each category for more specific topics (Men→ Shoes→ Baseball Cleats).

The site does not do a good job of recognizing the importance of aesthetics in design. The image below gives us a lot of information at once and can confuse new users.

Priscilla Shin

  • 1. 1 Keeping the Interface Simple~Simple groups with pictures and a small descriptions.

  • 1.5.3: Allow Sorting of Results by Various Criteria~ Can add multiple search keywords.

  • 1.7.3: Integrate Navigation and Search~ different categories in each topic so that it is easier for the searcher to find what they need.

  • 1.11: Recognize the Importance of Aesthetic in Design~ Clear grouping with lots of pictures and a short description to match.

Amanda Haney

The interface is successful at addressing rate of errors by users.I misspelled “sweater” in the search bar. The interface successfully picked up on my spelling mistake and offered me a suggestion that included results.

The interface, however, fails to provide a way for efficient and informative feedback.

The Site does not allow much room for error in spelling, whereas a site like google does. This happens mostly with Author names and can certainly be improved.

The site is pleasing aesthetically, even with more simple colors and layouts.

In reducing errors:

In aesthetic design:

The site does offer immediate and effective feedback. Even if it does not bring back results due to error, it shows that there are no results.

In immediate and Effective Feedback:

Cecilia King

Guideline not addressed:Offer efficient and informative feedback

Could Highlight query terms (1.5.2). This would be effective in allowing the user to find exactly the basketball championship they were looking for

Guideline addressed:Offer efficient and informative feedback

Show Query Term Suggestions (1.5.4). Gives suggestions on what user may be looking for. Very helpful if a user may not remember a team name but know they’re in atlanta. Also gave a suggestion when basketball was spelled wrong allowing user to refine their query.

Guideline not addressed: Reduce short term memory load

Simple history (1.7.2)

Should show history so user is able to see what they have searched/read before about a sports team/game

Olivia Huneycutt is an online boutique for Pakistani and Indian designer dresses.

One guideline that the interface successfully addresses is offering efficient and informative feedback. When one is typing into the search box, the interface shows query term suggestions and the interface has rapid responses to its searches.

One guideline that the interface does not address but should is reducing errors. Spelling mistakes on the interface often result in empty result sets. To avoid this, the website should have spelling correction and query previews to show how many documents will result if a particular search step is taken.

Zareen Farooqui

Nintendo provides informative feedback well, but I have concerns about the relevancy of the recall

The site lacks an aesthetic touch, as marked by the “messy” layout of the search results themselves. The snippets of content provide little context and looks jumbled on an otherwise clean page

I chose the official search user interface of Nintendo Mario Kart to examine more closely. This interface can be found here. It demonstrates Hearst’s guidelines in a number of ways. It provides efficient and informative feedback in it’s search results. The search results are displayed immediately after a query is submitted, all while the results page distinguishes query terms within the search results by showing which excerpts of the page contain the queried term and a brief context of how it used. Additionally, the results are categorized by article type and date published. It also supports a rapid search response, which is evidenced by the search engine returning a response typically between .144-.166 seconds. The engine also seeks to strike a balance between user control with automated actions by focusing on verbatim recall first, while relying on the user to discern the information precisely. It does not do not do this as well as a search engine like Bing, Yahoo! or Google does. The Mario Kart search engine does not attempt to address Hearst’s guideline of reducing short-term memory load. The search engine does not provide suggested searches or a search history. Equally lacking is the presence of Hearst’s guideline of providing shortcuts and reducing errors, which falls in line with this website’s barebones approach to its navigation. The only semblance of the guideline calling for the recognition of small details is the importance the engine places on returning results with verbatim queried terms and words. It is a very general search results process. Lastly, the aesthetics guideline is almostly completely ignored as aforementioned ‘barebones’ layout does not care too much in the way of formatting.

Multiple options exist for both sorting and filtering returned results by a variety of criteria, allowing a large volume of results to be narrowed down quickly

Search UI fails to recognize simple spelling error, returns zero results, and does not make suggestions for improving the result set

Maggie Bill

Search UI Evaluation - Google Slides