Dow Chemical : Efficient engine

An elegant search tool is displayed prominently across a US chemical company’s website.

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The feature

Dow Chemical’s new website has a prominent search box just below the main banner image on the home page. Relevant suggested items appear as the user types a query, and clicking the magnifying glass icon to the right of the box leads to a page with advanced search options.

The search tool is featured in the same location on section landing pages (and some deeper pages that we checked). It also locks to the top of the screen as you scroll down the page.

The takeaway

Dow’s efficient search tool stands out primarily because corporate website search engines often do not work very well. We tested three searches – ‘job listings’, ‘2014 results’ and ‘Isoclast’ (a Dow pesticide). In the first two cases, exact relevant results appeared before we finished typing the query. ‘Isoclast’ turned up relevant results, but we did not see the product page, possibly because it is on an old template that has not been integrated yet.

There is a trend for placing a search tool prominently on corporate websites. Many that we have seen throw up irrelevant results or overwhelm the page, overshadowing other more conventional ways of getting visitors where they need to go. The lesson is if, like Dow, you have a search engine that works, play it up; if not, don’t.
First published 28 October, 2015
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