Vinci : Making sense of search results

French construction company Vinci cleverly uses visual elements to make its corporate website's search results listing easier to digest

click to view

The feature

The internal search engine results page on has a comprehensive set of filters in the left column. These allow users to filter results by site section, sub-section, year, category (including 'Acquisitions' and 'Events'), document type (PDF or web page), country and language.

As is conventional, the number of search results available via each filter is shown in numerical form alongsde each filter label (see screenshot). Unusually, visual elements are also used to indicate the number of results in two filter categories:

  • Number of results for each of the last ten years are illustrated by horizontal bars.
  • A 'word cloud' style device is used to indicate the country filters with the most results.

The takeaway

Vinci's search engine filters are exceptionally comprehensive. This could potentially make them overwhelming for some users. The use of visial elements to clearly illustrate the number of results available in key filter categories helps to avoid this potential problem.

The use of horizontal bars to show number of results by year is particularly intuitive. However, the word cloud approach used to indicate number of results by country may not be immediately obvious to all users.

Overall, however, the use of visual elements here is an effective complement to standard numerical indication of results in a set of filter tools.
First published 23 April, 2019
< Back to Tips