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Tim Semen <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Tim Semen <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 31 May 2007 19:51:46 +1000
text/plain (84 lines)
In a previous life I did some testing around these two types of search
results pages.  

In the "categories on the left" model, users were more apt to miss the
categories and focused on the search results on the right.  If the item they
were interested in was not present in the results, they tended to re-search.

In the "categories on the top" model, users not only saw the categories but
also felt like they were forced into using them.  Products below the
categories were often missed depending on how many categories there were.  

I think it breaks down like this: if you have faith in your search engine
(and Amazon probably does since they built they A9 thing) put your
categories on the left.  If you don't have faith in it, put your categories
top and center.

Ultimately, we went with the categories in the center.

My .02


-----Original Message-----
From: ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Mario E. Santoyo S.
Sent: Thursday, 31 May 2007 7:23 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Is there a rationale behind Ebay Express' decision on how to
display the categories filter on a results page?

Good afternoon to you all,

Does anyone knows, or can point to a paper, why does Ebay Express decided to
reposition, within the results page, their categories filter? Instead of
using the commonly known solution of having it placed on the left side of
the results page?

My guess, and the rational behind why we are inclined to use this approach:

It was done to enhance the resulting products visibility and reduce
cognitive overload; with this new position they earn some lost page space,
and while the user is scrolling their full attention is aimed at the
products and not derived to other links/venues (ads, site's other features,

Please keep in mind I am leaving out on purpose the fact that the chance on
lading on such a result page on Ebay Express' is minimized to their
"Category decision" page which appear each time the results for a given
search are part of more than X categories (; therefor, this
position decision shouldn't be a major complain for them since the vast
majority of their users won't need to choose a category within the results

Ebay Express' new way:

Amazon's old way:

Best regards, and thank you for any pointers,

Mario E. Santoyo S.

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