Design Patterns: Faceted Navigation

by Jeffery Callender, Peter Morville

15 Reader Comments

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  1. Interesting article although I don’t think the term “faceted navigation” is very descriptive. Gems have facets, searches don’t. But where’s fig. 4-28?
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  2. Great article Peter. I usually urge people i know who have the kind of websites which yield a lot of product information to use faceted type of navigation. I mean you can’t imagine how helpful and effective can a really intuitive navigation when it satisfies every need of the user :)
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  3. Nice article. I actually like faceted navigations on a website that i often wander in. They really help you find things much more easily :)
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  4. There is a book called “Dynamic Taxonomies”, which features one chapter about User Interface Design of Faceted Search Interfaces. It is partly written by Moritz Stefaner, who also made a PDF of the chapter available: http://moritz.stefaner.eu/downloads/papers/DynTax_Ch_UI.pdf
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  5. Yeah if a website contains lots of configurable data, has many variables or catgeory based system with many sub ordiantes then a faceted navigation could be the way forward. Faceted navigation seems to break down large areas of information into smaller easier pieces that makes the information easy to digest.
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  6. I’ve been trying to figure out the best way of making a _useful_ search for a group of academic web sites (which have tons of information). This seems like an obvious solution (though I hadn’t considered it at all). Thank you for the insight!
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  7. very nice article - can’t help liking faceted navigations the best with some websites. thanks, cleawalford
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  8. You can find Figure 4-28 and all the other illustrations here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/morville/4274338864/in/set-72157623208685504/
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  9. ...where’s the dreaded Figure 4-28?
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  10. The dreaded figure 4-28 was initially omitted because of an error in production.  The missing image, along with its caption, now appears in its correct location in the article. Thanks, readers!
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  11. I haven’t ready ALA for so long (like 8 months) because it was about content and such for so long. Some of this newer stuff is getting really good again though. Keep it coming. I click ads :)
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  12. Any user testing about faceted navigation? The topic is really interesting, but I moderated some quick test in the past with a faceted search prototype that didn’t performed well. Obviously there are a lot of interface issue, because the mental model of “filtering” or selecting option in sequence, may not be common. I think the next step is identifying not only when and where to use facets, but what works and what doesn’t in term of GUI elements. As an example, people in my test weren’t able to understand the “exclude this facet” widget. Now gmail (and others) use a similar feature on the mail tagging that seems to work: so are there any (tested) best practice? There were other problems, too, maybe with the overall concept. So it would be great to have some user test done. Thank you for the great examples in the article.
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  13. Thanks, Peter and Jeffrey, awesome content as always.  I too have been preaching faceted search to my Enterprise Search clients for years.  I agree it’s just different for mobile, so I’ve been seeking the right user experience.  I think I’ve come up with something interesting:  http://blogs.avalonconsult.com/blog/search/yes-faceted-search-for-mobile-is-possible/ I’m interested in more feedback . . . are there flaws with this design?  Are there ways it needs to be tweaked?
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  14. Hi, lovely article and thanks for the examples. Re: academic data and faceted search - worked on this a lot in the past and it is pretty much the best route, providing you pay careful attention to the facets and match them to the fields terminology and taxonomy. E.g. historians and anthropologists would approach the same resource on Ancient Greece from different perspectives (perhaps time period for historians, or cultural type for anthropologists). With regard to user testing: In my experience, faceted navigation controls are key to user acceptance - with particular attention to the default display, order of application of facets (should all combinations be available or only ‘true’ combinations etc.) and the positioning of the controls and the currently applied filters to the results list. As with all things, it depends on the context, the content and the users :)
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  15. Very interesting & educational article. This has been influential in helping me decide upon the structure and flow of project Im currently working on. Thanks
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