Crafting a Seamless Mobile Search UX: Best Practices

Creating a great mobile search user experience (UX) is both a challenge and an opportunity for eCommerce managers.

Finding a balance between limited screen space with an effective mobile search design is the key to enhancing your user experience. 

So, in this guide, we will explore all of your options for optimizing your site’s mobile search UX.

From enhancing the mobile search bar to refining the overall user interface, we want to simplify the user journey, making it as easy as possible for your customers to find what they’re looking for.

Join us as we explore 10 mobile search best practices that will streamline your customers’ mobile search journey. Let’s get started!

Mastering Mobile Search UX

Let’s take a closer look at the hurdles that often make the world of mobile search UX a bit of a challenge for eCommerce managers, as well as the mobile search best practices that you can implement into your mobile website.

Understanding these challenges and best practices is the first step toward conquering them and creating a mobile experience that delights your users.

1. Simple Mobile Search Design

Mobile screens are small, so choosing what to show is crucial. When choosing which information to include on your mobile website, prioritize essential information for a streamlined experience.

For example, features that are essential to the customer journey like a mobile search bar, shopping cart, and menu should always be visible at the top of the home screen.

mobile search ux

Ensure a streamlined user experience by prioritizing simplicity in the search UI design. Implement a mobile search bar that features clear, uncluttered icons and an intuitive layout, allowing users to navigate effortlessly through your eCommerce website.

In the example below, you can see that the search bar simply has a search icon and the word “search” next to it. 

This simplicity extends to the design of selection tools, as you can see in the example, each tool is displayed as a simple icon in the header of the page.

This helps to guide users seamlessly through the search process for a truly user-friendly interaction. Displaying relevant content succinctly maximizes the impact of each interaction.

mobile search ux

2. Thoughtful Mobile Filters UI

Mobile screens vary in size, which means that your mobile search design requires a thoughtful and customer-centric approach. When adding filters to your mobile search UI, consider placing a button that hovers at the bottom of the screen like the example below.

This keeps the customer journey at the forefront of the design and allows your users to access these features easily during their shopping experience.

mobile search ux

It’s important to ensure that your faceted search feature is user-friendly and that it seamlessly integrates with your mobile interface. In the example below, users can effortlessly filter products by category, price, and more, simply by clicking on the filters button and scrolling through the different filtering options.

This provides an intuitive way to narrow down their options, which makes the search experience both efficient and enjoyable.

mobile search ux

3. Typo Tolerance and Autocomplete for Mobile Search Bars

Users are normal people and they make typing errors. Embracing a typo-tolerant mobile search UI is essential for a positive user experience. Forgiving these mistakes creates an environment where users don’t need to worry about typing errors affecting the relevance of their search results.

mobile search ux

One way to further mitigate this issue is to anticipate user needs by incorporating an autocomplete search suggestion feature into your mobile search bar. Picture a scenario where as users type, they are presented with dynamic results that cater to their evolving queries.

In the example below, you can see by just typing “sof”, the user is presented with search suggestions like “sofas”, “sofa”, “sofa suite”, “sofa chairs”, and more.

This proactive approach not only saves your customers’ time when searching for products, but it also helps them avoid the common mobile search challenge of making typing errors.

mobile search ux

4. On-the-Go Mobile Search Features

Mobile searches often happen when your customers are on the go. They could be commuting to work, waiting for an appointment, or even getting their hair done.

That being said, it’s important to adapt your mobile search design for these types of diverse settings where the user will be searching. Success lies in letting users seamlessly search amidst daily chaos, making your website an indispensable on-the-go companion.

mobile search ux

An innovative solution to this challenge is implementing voice and visual search features into your mobile search bar. These features allow users to effortlessly find products by speaking or uploading images directly in the mobile search application.

Envision an eCommerce experience where users say, “Find me blue running shoes,” or present a picture, and the website responds promptly. This modern touch caters to diverse user preferences, setting your eCommerce website apart in accessibility and innovation.

8. Prioritize Mobile Search Speed

When it comes to any search experience, speed is one of the top priorities. So, it goes without saying, when optimizing your mobile search UI, you need to provide quick results to meet user expectations. Search results should load almost instantaneously, preventing users from experiencing frustrating delays. 

One enhancement to add to highlight your search speed is showing relevant results in the search bar on mobile as the user types each letter. This optimization not only aligns with user expectations but also contributes to a seamless and efficient eCommerce shopping experience. 

So, instead of waiting until you finish typing to see results, you get suggestions instantly with every letter you type. This makes your website or app more intuitive and efficient for people using mobile devices to shop online.

5. An Adaptable Mobile UX

Mobile users often navigate with varying network conditions. Because of this, it’s important to plan ahead for connection interruptions so that your users will continue to have a smooth mobile searching experience.

The worst scenario for your users is to see a plain screen with a loading icon in the center. This takes their attention away from your site and makes them more impatient. 

mobile search ux

Your website should handle network fluctuations seamlessly, ensuring a consistent and reliable search experience. One way to do this is to display progress indicators or skeleton screens. 

This considerate approach keeps users informed about ongoing processes, reducing frustration during moments of interrupted connectivity.

This transparency not only acknowledges potential challenges but also reinforces trust in the overall eCommerce experience as well as the likelihood of the user staying on your site.

mobile search ux

6. The Perfect Mobile Search Bar

Searching isn’t just a one-step task. It’s a series of steps, from finding the search bar to typing a query and finally, exploring results. Fine-tuning each step of the search process ensures that your users stay engaged and satisfied when using a mobile search application.

But, the first step is by far the most important – finding the search bar.

One way to optimize this process is to optimize the display of your eCommerce search bar to ensure that users can easily find it on your site. Without this crucial first step in the search process, your users will struggle to find and purchase products on your site.

A few things you should optimize on your mobile search bar are its size, placement, and contrast. Making the search bar big, placing it in the center of the page, and using contrasting colors enhance its visibility and accessibility for your customers. 

In the example below, you can see the search bar takes up the entire length of the mobile screen, it’s placed directly under the site’s header, and it stands out with its contrasting purple background.

mobile search ux

7. Smooth Mobile Search Bar Transition Screens

Once users have found the mobile search bar and clicked on it, what appears? This transition period before the user starts to enter a search query is a great moment to optimize the mobile search UX even more.

Providing users with information like recent searches, trending products, or category displays during this transition can improve the online shopping experience.

This ensures that users are not just presented with relevant results but are guided through a curated and engaging journey where they are able to continue searching right where they left off, discover new products, or quickly browse products by category.

mobile search ux

8. Tailor Display Based on Product Type

Search results should dynamically adjust based on the product type. This means that the user will see filters specific to the product that they searched for. For example, when a user types “cashews” the category filter options shown at the top of the screen are relevant to this unique search term. 

Integrating a user-friendly and dynamic filtering tool like the example below, helps to avoid screen clutter and ensures a smooth interaction. This way, your customers are presented not only with the most relevant results but also the most relevant search filters for their specific search query. 

mobile search ux

9. Product Card Features for Improved Mobile Search UX

Highlighting relevant information about products like out-of-stock items or discounts by using visual cues is a great way to streamline the shopping journey in your online store. Implement product card tags to emphasize the information about each product.

This helps minimize frustration when encountering out-of-stock products, while also informing your customers that you typically sell the product in your store. As for discount tags, they not only facilitate quick comprehension but also encourage users to explore products that they might not have previously considered.

mobile search ux

Another great product card feature that will help get your customers to the checkout more quickly is an add-to-cart button. This is a feature that can be added right onto the product card so that it doesn’t take up any additional space.

mobile search ux

10. Consistency is Key

Finally, every page on your mobile site should maintain a uniform layout, from product categories to the shopping cart. This fosters familiarity and enhances overall usability, instilling confidence in users as they navigate through your eCommerce platform.

Conduct thorough quality assurance to identify and eliminate any inconsistencies, ensuring a seamless and trustworthy eCommerce journey.

mobile search ux

Embracing Mobile Search UX

Armed with these mobile search best practices, you are well on your way to setting up your mobile search functionality for excellence.

This article has provided you with insights to navigate the dynamic shifts in trends and user expectations, ensuring your eCommerce platform stays ahead of the curve.

For those seeking additional support, consider turning to Doofinder—an AI-powered search engine meticulously crafted for eCommerce.

With cutting-edge features and top-notch mobile optimization, Doofinder stands as a reliable solution to enhance your site’s mobile search experience.

Think of Doofinder as your dedicated partner, ready to collaborate in elevating your mobile search journey. Your enhanced mobile experience awaits!