Start Anywhere - Faceted Navigation (euroIA 2010)

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Presentation for Euro IA 2010 by Peter Boersma (with support by Henning Fischer) of Adaptive Path. This presentation reflects the things we tell clients when they suggest to use Faceted Navigation. It goes into what Faceted Navigation is and is not good for and what tips & tricks we've learned in researching, designing and evaluating faceted-based solutions.

Transcript of Start Anywhere - Faceted Navigation (euroIA 2010)

  • start anywhere

    what Faceted Navigation i

    s not good for

    peter boersm


    henning fisch


  • three locations

  • events

    4,000 p a r t i c i p a n t s

    20 c o u n t r i e s

    50 c o n s u l t a n c i e s


    e x p e r i e n c e

    researche x p e r i e n c e

    designe x p e r i e n c e


    hundredso f a r t i c l e s


    8b o o k s

    thousandso f r e a d e r s

    Adaptive Path helps teams and organizations create products and services that deliver great experiences to improve peoples lives.

  • our clients ask for it

  • wouldnt it be cool if...we want to...

    we already have...can you make it like...

  • Faceted Navigation 101

  • facets=

    attributes of content items

  • navigation=

    finding your wayin (an information) space

  • faceted navigation=

    selectingattributes of content items

    in order tofind your way

    in an information space

  • typical design

    facet1 value1.1(#) value1.2(#)

    facet2 subfacet2.1(#) subfacet2.2(#)

    item item item


    item item item

    item itemall content items(or none)

  • typical design

    facet2 subfacet2.1(#) subfacet2.2(#)

    value a.b (x)

    item item item


    item item

    item itemall content items

    whose attributes matchvalue a.b

  • typical design

    facet2 subfacet2.1 value2.1.1(#) value2.1.2(#)

    value a.b(x) subfacet c.d(x)

    item item item

    item itemall content items

    whose attributes match value a.b and subfacet c.d

  • When to useFaceted Navigation

  • Good when:all your content items have

    all the metadata

  • online magazines


    training & events

    software & tools


    about Kluwer

    scientific articles

  • Good when:your facets and values

    actually distinguishcontent items

  • Good when:your users understandthe facets and values

  • When NOT to useFaceted Navigation

  • Not good when:your users may have problems with the UI

    e.g. select/deselect facets,orthogonal hierarchies,controlled vocabulary

  • Not good when:your users prefer search

    over browse

  • Not good when:your content items have

    optional features

  • facets

  • facets



  • Not good when:you only have

    a small collection

  • Not good when:your users are

    in non-selection phases of the purchase process

  • Not good when:you want to

    encourage serendipity

  • related

    top 5



  • Known alternatives

  • search

  • directory listing

  • product tables,comparison charts

  • product configurators, wizards, advisors

  • top 5/10/50 lists

  • fewer products

  • Adaptive PathsTips & Tricks

  • #1make sure thatselected facetsremove other,

    non-relevant facets

  • #2at some point,

    comparison charts may be a better solution

  • #3for products that appear in

    many categories,add a for general use


  • #4the order of facets

    determines how they will be used

  • #5use faceted navigation

    in combination withother navigation types

  • related

    top 5



    search & filter

  • #6view all designs

    is not a filter

  • #7ask yourself:

    should weuse faceted navigationfor all content types?

  • Summary

  • Goodwhen:

    Not Good when:

    - metadata in place- facets distinguish content items- users understand facets

    - problems with UI- users prefer search- optional features- small collection- non-selection phases- serendipity

  • Alternatives- search- directory listings- product tables- comparison charts- configurators/wizards/advisors- top 5/10/50 lists- fewer products

  • Tips & Tricks

    #1 selected facets remove non-relevant facets#2 comparison charts may be better#3 consider a for general use facet

    #4 think about order of facets in interface

    #5 combine facets with other navigation#6 view all is not a filter#7 use facets only for content where it makes sense

  • Questions?

  • start anywhere

    what Faceted Navigation i

    s not good for

    peter boersm


    henning fisch