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Journal of nicholas (3034)

Tuesday December 12, 2006
08:23 AM

Clue, and clear lack thereof

[ #31891 ]

Currently if I search for "meccano" on Woolworth's website, I get back a promising list of search results. I follow one that looks interesting. And then something in the top right catches my eye

Muppets. If it's now discontinued, why does it appear in search results?

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  • Generally sites do this so that visitors can differentiate between "This is definitely the item I wanted and now I know I can't buy it", and "I don't know whether this site just doesn't have the item I want, or whether their search system sucks so much that I just can't find it".

    Finding the item and telling you it's no longer available so you can move on and look for something else (or try to find a different site where you can buy this) is very often the better result.

    Of course, providing a way that y

    • OK. It's a fair cop. Although I'd like it better if the default search only showed available products, with a clear button to get everything else too. But I suspect that the counter to that is that this is confusing to some peopple. (In turn, most sites could do a lot to simplify the visual confusion of all their not-for-the-task-in-hand links and buttons first, rather than worrying about that.)

      Still, it looks like they have other issues, with such gems as Results 0 - 12 of 13 and Results 12 - 24 of 13. I

      • Hiding these results behind an extra button defeats the point of having them. Would you have repeated your search with “show me out-of-stock items”? I think the right approach would be to put a “permanently out of stock” marker right next to the link in the search results page.