The need to search

When do users need to search website content?

The Problem

RX is one of the largest global events organisers, operating in 22 countries. It provides a website platform and hosting for the organisations it supports in each country.

Local business units had requested a global search function for the platform that would allow users to search for anything. Search functions are already present within directories, but RX needed to validate the need for a global search.

The Solution

Having worked with RX on a few occasions, I was hired to explore the user appetite for a global search.

Running alongside a survey with users, I explored 2 x prototypes for a single global search journey. I used remote, moderated user testing supplemented with qualitative research.


The Outcome

The need for a global search was difficult to determine because, typically, users would be browsing information about events meaning searching is a last resort. 

This meant that users struggled to recall searching requirements. I suggested a fake door test to investigate the need for global search further – this involves presenting the user with a fake feature on a live website to measure the number of clicks, providing a valuable metric of user need.

Of the 2 x prototypes, one emerged as most effective, as it reflected the mental model that was used when searching, and had an easy-to-scan SERP.