News sites provide readers with options on search result pages
A key element of a website’s information architecture, according to the guys who wrote the book on the subject, is a person’s ability to use an internal search to find content. This is especially important on news sites where readers often want to find a particular article or browse for more content about a subject.
News sites have adopted several common approaches. The sites typically display the term that’s being searched for and often show readers the number of results that have been found.
Results are displayed in a list that typically includes articles’ headlines and descriptions. Readers usually have the options to limit, or filter, their searches to include a specific content type (like articles) or from a specific time frame (in the past week). Then, once a search occurs, they often have the ability to choose how it’s displayed: either chronologically (with most recent at top) or sorted by relevance.
But some news outlets provide additional search page features.
As a Washington Post reader types something into the search field, the website does an instant search and produces results in a drop-down list. If the reader proceeds with the search, she can then choose from a variety of options — including a “Timeline of Coverage” that displays search results over time in line graph form.
U-T San Diego lets readers choose to between a condensed view, which either displays just article headlines or shows an excerpt of how the term appears in the story.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel allows readers to filter by author or newspaper/website section and suggests other topics to investigate.
And USA Today, which likes to give readers options on how to display content, shows their search result as either a list or a grid (some posts in the grid layout come with “recommended” labels).