How to optimize a search experience?

 

State of play

Kolsquare is a Saas B2B platform dedicated to help professionals optimize their Marketing Influence campaigns on 4 social networks (Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter).
The main feature is a powerful search, in which you can search with hashtags, mentions, keywords (or strings of characters), URLs or exact strings. The search can be applied in posts (in the content), names and usernames, or biographies.

Numerous filters are here to complete the search, divided in three categories:
  • Networks: community size, engagment rates, number of views
  • Audience: quality score, interests, location, language, age, gender
  • Influencer: function, language, location, age, gender
UX Case Study Jérôme Benoit - How to optimise a search experience - before Above: the homepage of Kolsquare, once you are logged.

Main Issue(s)

Discovery with customers and tracking with tools helped us understand that:
  • Advanced search is underused, almost even not, while it's a real powerful feature with its boolean operators, only because it's not easily accessible or not known at all.
  • Users are lacking of inspiration, they don't know what to search or to type.
Basic UX inconsistencies:
  • Results are already displayed while no search has been done. And even worse, these results are celebrities (they have the highest communauty sizes), which generate incomprehension for our customers who are looking for influencers.
  • Period should be always accessible, because it's hidded in the advanced search.
  • Sidebar contains the same items in different sections (influencers and audience), leading to many mistakes and frutration.
  • As the sidebar is particularly tall, there is no overview of all the selected filters.
Monitoring tools helped us find that:
  • The three tabs (posts, names, bio) are each displaying a number of results calculated in real time. That means that each search lead to three requests, and so performances are degraded. Moreover, I think that the "where you search" represented by the tabs should be a step before the "what you search".
I really wanted to use this rewamp to highlight a feature beloved from our customers the possibility to add an influencer to our catalog.
 
 
Above: the different panels of the sidebar.
Above: the advanced search opened.
Above: the three tabs appearing once a search has been done.
 

Process

Once everything above was clear in our mind, I set up several workshops with the product team, plus the tech team (front + back). We made several iterations and shown prototypes to our nearest customers and several members of the sales team.
After showing the prototypes, we decided to be less ambitious on what we wanted to do.
 
 

Solutions found

UX Case Study Jérôme Benoit - How to optimise a search experience - before UX Case Study Jérôme Benoit - How to optimise a search experience - after

 
The main changes are:
  • The disappearance of the tabs, replaced by a dropdown just before the input of the search. Moreover the wording of the dropdown has changed to be far more explicit (From in the posts to influencers with posts containing...). No tabs means better performance.
  • The advanced search is not a dropdown with several inputs anymore. As soon as you focus on the input, you can directly write with boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT), plus brackets. A suggest-as-you-type system has been added, so has been a section of the most search words on the platform to help users finding inspiration.
  • The sidebar has been replaced by an horizontal filter section just under the input of the search. The filters displayed are now limited in numbers and gathered by theme instead of a type of person (influencer or audience). All the other filters can be found under a section More filters. This allows us to display more results on the homepage, and to display an overview of all the selected filters always visible.
  • No results are displayed by default, it has been replaced by a placeholder with the number of influencers.