2nd wave of Search bar enhancements

by Manish Bhargava on July 7, 2010 · 0 comments

in Martindale-Hubbell Connected,martindale.com,social media for lawyers,Web 2.0

Last week Jon Lin in his blog post introduced the new martindale.com Connected site. I am excited to say with that release search experience at martindale.com surpassed yet another milestone!

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.

martindale.com Connected Search box

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.

martindale.com Connected Groups &Topics scope auto-suggestion

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.

martindale.com Connected - People scope auto-suggestion

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!

On June 25th search experience at martindale.com reached yet another milestone!

Search has always been the choice tool to find lawyers, law firms, legal articles, community content, jobs and much more. Last July, Jon Lin announced our first wave of search enhancements where he introduced Search Box that provides a “Google-like” experience when searching. Last week we released our second wave of search enhancements that includes improvements to Search Box as well as our search results page. I will cover the search results page in my next blog post.

Search Box enhancements

Instead of having the search box somewhere hidden 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 in finding it.

Until now users could perform their search at martindale.com within the realm of eight search scopes. Although this was pretty useful to users, these scopes were all cramped up under a single drop down besides the search box field. Users had a tough time finding these scopes and consequently were not able to get to what they were looking for with ease. With the redesign we now have a more prominent and better consolidated search scopes – People, Firms & Organization, Groups & Topics and Jobs.

Another area where we made strides is in Auto-suggestion feature. First – all search scopes with the exception of Jobs scope will include pre-filtered search criterions along with up to five actual suggestions. This will allow users to perform different searches from within the search box without having to come to search results page and then use the guided navigation for filtering. Secondly – the actual suggestions will be ordered based on the user’s network and entitlements. So for example – if you are signed in and are looking for 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 Connected and non-Connected members.

Third – until now we had auto-suggestion only in People scope. We expanded this to include other scopes – Law firms & Organization and Groups & Topics. Similar to People scope, we will include pre-filtered options along with actual suggestion for both the scopes. I should note here though that only law firms will be shown up in actual suggestions.

Similarly for Groups & Topics scope, only groups will be shown in actual suggestion’s list with groups that the user is a member of shown at the top followed by all other entitled groups.

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.

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