Reasons to replace advanced search with filters

I’ve been creating websites for over 20 years now, and one of the earliest patterns I remember is the advanced search option. It’s a simple link under the search box that takes users to a page with search options. But as simple as it may seem, advanced search actually provides users with a bad experience compared to in-context filters.

Firstly, advanced search is cumbersome to use. Users have to navigate between the search form and the results every time they want to change their search criteria, which can be time-consuming.

Secondly, advanced search decreases the chance of getting relevant results. It displays every possible option, even if they don’t have any results, which can be frustrating for users.

Thirdly, advanced search is more likely to make users give up. If users don’t get results the first time, they may become discouraged and abandon their search.

Furthermore, the link to advanced search is not prominent, making it hard for users to spot.

The advanced search options lack context, as they are shown on a separate page away from the list of results. It’s not clear what the options relate to.

Additionally, advanced search increases cognitive load. All the possible options are displayed in one big form, which can be overwhelming for users.

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