WordReference search box evolution

 

During the Interaction Design Foundation course, I answered this question:

Please identify an example where a search box has been used in a design and outline the various stages of implementing the search box in this particular instance.

I chose as an example the amazing WordReference translation service. I use it since 2004 and I clearly know the users needs: translate.

2001

WordReference search box in 2001

In 2001 it didn’t have the search box focus on the home. The multiple search boxes were displayed on the left small column. There was not enough space for long words and users had to scroll the page for certain languages. Moreover the centre of the page was full of contents that were absolutely not useful for the users.
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2006

WordReference search box in 2006

In 2006 the home page changed the colour and the contents layout. The multiple search boxes were replaced by a unique field and a language check boxes closed in a coloured box. The page was neater but it was still using a lot of space for the monolingual dictionaries descriptions.
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2011

WordReference search box in 2006

In 2011 the home deleted the coloured box and replaced the language check box selection with a drop-down menu. This change is connected to the increase of the available languages and services. The monolingual dictionaries and some new services were presented in a list form without any graphical relevance.
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2014

WordReference search box in 2014

WordReference today has a Google like layout. It increased exponentially the available services even if it simplyfied its layout.
The search box has the auto complete and the language recognition (using cookies I suppose). Searches now are really fast and easy.
Below the box there’s a drop-down menu for the language selection. while the monolingual dictionaries are linked using just light grey word (ex: Italian, Spanish, etc). At the end of the page there are still unuseful contents, but now are less intrusive. On the top of the page is available a really useful navigation bar with some drop-down menus and an effective namig.
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Conclusion

Good work, even if the internal pages are still full of contents that I never read.
The quality of the service is excellent and the home page UX is really effective. Thousands of times better than Google Translate that unfortunately is well designed.

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