Search has always been the choice tool to find lawyers, law firms, legal articles, community content, jobs and much more at martindale.com. Last year, Jon Lin announced our first wave of search enhancements where he introduced Search Bar that provides a “Google-like” experience when searching. This functionality was very well received by our users. Overtime we have received many feedbacks, both positive and negative, and interviewed many users that has led us to our new improved search bar.
Search Bar enhancements
Instead of having the search bar hidden somewhere underneath the global site navigation menus, we made it much more prominent by having it on the top of the global navigation menu. Users will now have no trouble finding it!
Until now users could perform their search at martindale.com within the realm of eight search categories – People, Law firms, Companies, Jobs, Legal Library, Web, Expert & Services and Community. Although this was pretty useful to some of our power users, most users did not realize their existence as these categories were all cramped up under a single drop down besides the search bar field. The result was obvious. Users were not finding what they were looking for with ease. With the redesign we now have a more prominent and better consolidated search categories– People, Firms & Organization, Groups & Topics and Jobs.
Another area where we made strides on is in Auto-suggestion feature.
With the redesign release, all search categories with the exception of Jobs will now have auto-suggestion.
Second – Each auto-suggestion will include pre-filtered search criteria along with up to five actual suggestions. This will allow users to perform different searches from within the search bar without having to come to search results page and then use the guided navigation for filtering. Say if the user is looking for Groups that are associated to intellectual property. He can select Groups and Topics scope, enter intellectual property in the search bar and click on the Find groups for intellectual property… pre-canned search in auto-suggestion to get a list of all matching groups.
Third – Showing user based relevant results in auto-suggestion was something that our user’s asked for and I am happy to say that we delivered it with this redesign. The actual suggestions will now be ordered based on the user’s Connected network. So for example – if you are signed in and are searching for a person with name Dean, you will see your first degree connections that have Dean in their name as shown below. Those suggestions will be followed by your matching second degree connections followed by matching out-of-network Connected members and finally matching non-Connected lawyers.
Similarly for Groups & Topics scope, matching user’s groups will be shown first in actual suggestions followed by other matching visible groups.
I want to highlight one aspect of auto-suggestion here – If you don’t see any actual suggestions based on what you typed, it doesn’t mean that we do not have anything that matches your entered test. Auto suggestion is only to help you get to your destination quicker and by no means is a representation of actual search results. When the user clicks on the Search button besides the search bar, we run an exhaustive search to surface matching results for you.
I invite you to experience the newly redesigned martindale.com search bar and send us your feedback!