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Add “search filters” to navigation to empower users! (expands layered navigation in a simple way)
 
ShopGuy
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Joined:  2008-09-07
 

Why this is needed

This will allow for the following:

1. Allow users to filter by text fields instead of just select fields that are enabled in layered navigation. This would enable a narrow down feature in the category. Whether they searched by name, manufacturer, author etc. Imagine a book store listing 100,000 authors in layered navigation… Not possible, but with this feature they could search by author and other fields easily!

2. Allow users to search in select fields that are simply too large to display in layered navigation. An example of such would be printer cartridges. The list of different printer models is simply too great (in the 100s) to display in layered navigation or categories. However, in order to find the right cartridge the user will need to search in something.... And searching the “printer model” attribute makes the most sense.

User experience

In the frontend navigation have a search box with a pull down box of attributes and a text field the user can enter in a search value. Once searched the user can remove the “search filter” or add another “search filter”

Implementation

For each attribute add a flag that says searchable attribute in navigation. The reason for this is because more attributes can be searched than can be in layered navigation (for example, text fields) and some attributes you may not want to be searched but may be in layered navigation. Then add the search widget as described above

 
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joyously
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Isn’t a lot of that already in there and done through Advanced Search?  Just make a new layered_search class to handle it a bit differently than Advanced Search does.

 
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ShopGuy
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No, this is completely different as it would be apart of layered navigation. It would essentially add a “Shop By Search” item to the layered navigation. As far as I know the search class does not search based on the category and previously filters you have applied, let you add on additional searches to continue to narrow the results, and let you arbitrarily remove search filters. And, it is not apart of layered navigation.

 
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inyerface
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This thread shows you how to add dropdowns from your Printer Model’s.  http://www.magentocommerce.com/boards/viewthread/5500/

Also, you want to create product attributes to filter your Shopby search…

 
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Mirasvit
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In fact, Magentо search is not perfect.  Very often a user doesn’t find what he was looking for and leaves the store. Good decision is to integrate the Sphinx search engine. It greatly improves the quality and relevance of search results. Look at: http://mirasvit.com/magento-extensions/sphinx-search-ultimate.html

 
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Amasty
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Joined:  2009-11-10
 

Hello!

You can check out Product Parts Finder that helps find product parts easily. It has year-make-model and analogous product filters that are useful for car parts sites or for those stores which sell printer cartridges.The features include:

- Display product finders at home page and category pages
- Add unlimited number of product finders
- Create filters with unlimited number of selection options
- Optimized for large volumes of data

You can find out more at http://amasty.com/product-parts-finder.html

 
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