• Chaymae Lougmani

Short case study on search results

Updated: Sep 21, 2020

Burberry search results

Burberry website hero image


Search is one of the most important aspects of an e-commerce site that people often underestimate when building their platforms.

I tried different websites to support all the aspects of search functionality, Burberry is one of my favourite brands and I thought it could be a good example to summarise the pros and cons in search design and results.

This is a short case study, that addresses some aspects to search design and results with examples from 2017*.

Previously, I published a couple of articles on search:

  • Search design: 5 important things you need to consider when designing for search

  • Search best practices: Why do you need to optimise your search and how to do it

What Burberry does well

Search design

  • Search available on the top right, this is where people expect it to be.

  • Even though the search field is not following a conventional design, it is clear that it’s a search bar.

  • The magnifying glass is supported by the word ‘search’. This makes it clear and more accessible.

Plenty of space for a typical query

  • On click, the search bar expands giving users enough space for a longer query

Burberry search bar

Showing the number of items in the result

  • The number of results available is displayed. In this example, we can see clearly the 30 results, this gives the user an idea of how long it will take them to go through all the results.

Number of results displayed up front

Extra refinement through filtering and sorting

  • A filter and a sorting system are provided for more accuracy.

  • The advanced search is only available after they hit enter which is a good practice.

Burberry’s filtering and sorting system

“When it makes sense, offer advanced search as an option users can link to from the search results page: “Didn’t find what you were looking for? Try advanced search.” Nielsen Norman Group

What Burberry can improve

Need an effective auto-suggest

  • Burberry offers autosuggestion which is good but it’s not accurate enough. I typed ‘Scar’ and the first result I got is Sandringham.


Error recovery & alternatives

  • Didn’t offer me alternatives to my incomplete query.


Accurate name convention

  • The search result didn’t offer a correction to my query. I tried the search again today (July 2019), when I clicked enter after typing the word ‘SCA’, I got only one result for men.

This suggests that work needs to be done in the naming convention of the products displayed.


To Wrap up

I wrote this a couple of years ago but it’s still relevant today. This is a short case study, that addresses some aspects to search design. It doesn’t have all the aspects but enough to give an idea about the major things businesses and brands need to think of.

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