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New functions to sparkle the search


In the coming days as the trend goes , there are two things which is likely to boost up the search mechanism, one is Accent Folding functionality in search field  and the other one is faceted search. In the realm of usability this two would be the main hubbub and certainly would made an impact in the days to come (short period) .

Accent Folding functionality in search field

Accent folding functionality will help users in various ways. Softwares , apps or websites would just not be internationalized but with the easy support of Unicode they would appear as truly multilingual. Let me now explain how does this helps user to an extent and what’s so big about this commotion. Okay today `s users deal with data from everywhere, in multiple languages and locales, all the time. The locale they prefer is only loosely correlated with the locales they expect applications to process. Suppose you type caf thinking about the café in back of your mind. If you are an Englishman it is ok to appear cafe but if you are a Frenchman you would expect the auto filler result to appear as café. 

Now in application of search that favour recall over precision and displays the both. for example, if you type ‘caf’ it will show all the options varied to different languages such as café , cafe çåFé etc. Remember, accents are pronunciation hints that don’t affect the textual meaning. Entering them can be cumbersome, especially on mobile devices and with accent-folding, it doesn't matter whether users search for cafe, café or even çåFé; the results will be the same.

Now technically an accent-folding function essentially maps Unicode characters to ASCII equivalents. Anywhere you apply case-folding, you should consider accent-folding, and for exactly the same reasons. A minor gotcha is the Unicode "fullwidth" Roman alphabet. These are fixed-width versions of plain ASCII characters designed to line up with Chinese/Japanese/Korean characters (e.g., "1979年8月15日"). They reside in 0xff00 to 0xff5e and should be treated as equivalent to their ASCII counterparts.

Be aware that there are million caveats to accent rules. You will almost certainly get it wrong for somebody, somewhere.

Faceted search 

Faceted search or guided navigation provides users the value of  visible options for clarifying and refining queries. It features an integrated, incremental search and browse experience that lets users begin with a classic keyword search and then scan a list of results. The user can see a custom navigational map providing insights to the content and offers a variety of useful next steps . Example as follows.  















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