Note: This post hasn't been updated in over 2 years.
Finding what you want quickly and easily is the cornerstone of a successful marketplace, and improving this experience was one of our 2014 Roadmap themes. Faceted search, or the ability to filter down your search results, is a key and long-awaited component of a better discovery experience. Today, we’re pleased to announce that it has made its debut on Envato Market and will be fully rolled out across the sites over the next two days.
Earlier this year, we invited our community to collaborate with us during the idea gathering phase of the project. We used Trello to capture and discuss suggestions for faceted search. Although the majority of these suggestions is yet to be implemented, this helped us develop a big picture understanding of all the requirements and better plan our approach to this project. More on this later.
Throughout the course of this project we also talked to a small group of community users, and gave them a chance to give us regular feedback along the way. Before the launch we invited this group to test the beta release of faceted search earning all of them the stunning “beta tester” badge. Big thanks to everyone who contributed ideas and especially to our focus group members: revaxarts, miseld, FastNOC, sfxstudio, glutenfree4u, simonswiss, Stockwaves.
The New Search Experience
So what has changed? First you will notice the big search bar at the top of the page. Its generous size and proximity to the results listings make it easier to refine existing, or create new search queries.
Next, the most important addition, the new search facets. There are 5 altogether:
‘Sort by’, and ‘View’ were moved into the sidebar along with the facets to create one central control point for the tweaking of search results. By removing the previous bar running above the results, we have freed this space up for the active filters bar. This shows a summary of all the filters you have applied to your search and makes it easy to remove filters in case you refined your query down too narrowly.
As part of this release the PhotoDune and 3DOcean-specific facets were also updated and merged into the new sidebar system.
Only The Tip of The Iceberg
With the release of global facets we are laying a foundation for what is yet to come. Much of the value behind faceted search lies in being able to apply category-specific filters to search results. For example, when looking for video files you may want to specify the minimum resolution, or when looking for a WordPress theme you may want to choose the specific version of WordPress you’re after. We call these “Category-specific facets”, because they only relate to certain types of items or categories and don’t appear on every marketplace.
Category-specific facets will be tackled next. We will be using the Facet Suggestions Trello board as a reference, and we will closely collaborate with our small group of community users as we work on each new category.
More faceted search goodness is on its way!
Give Us Your Feedback
We’d like to know what you think of the first release of facets. Send us your thoughts using the feedback icon on the search results and category pages, or tell us on the forums.