Peter Morville > Collections > Search Patterns > Design Patterns

What

Faceted or "guided navigation" leverages metadata fields and values to provide users with visible options for narrowing or refining their query.

Why

This integrated searching and browsing experience lets users begin with a simple keyword search, but then offers useful next steps and insights into the content and its organization.

When

Guided navigation has become almost ubiquitous in e-commerce given the availability of structured metadata and the clear business value of improving findability. This pattern is applicable in most contexts, assuming a substantial volume of valuable content.

How

Requires significant investment. Leading vendors include Endeca and FAST. Also supported by open source products such as Apache Solr. Human effort required for defining metadata fields and values. Tagging can be distributed and/or semi-automated.

See Also

Faceted Navigation (Pattern)

Faceted Classification (Wikipedia)

Flamenco (Research Project)

FaThumb (Research Project)

Faceted Navigation (Delicious)

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