https://pds.blog.parliament.uk/2017/09/06/launching-the-new-search-service-on-parliament-uk/

Launching the new search service on parliament.uk

Parliament currently offers various search functions (on the website and the intranet, for example) and our vision is to offer a unified search experience.

Replacing the current search on the website with the new search service is the first big step towards that goal.

What we’ve achieved

The new version of the search service has been in place on the beta website for a couple of months. The beta website will run alongside the current website as new features are added, eventually replacing it. However we still need to make sure the current site is searchable.

So, today we replaced the old search function on the current site with our new service, helping people find what they're looking for. We’ve had feedback confirming that users like the new interface and the way the results are being displayed on our new search.

We've not only changed the look and feel of the search interface but there's also new search technology being used.

Making search better involves collaboration between several teams within PDS (the data and search team, the content team, web ops, and the website team). We're taking small steps and making gradual changes as we test at each stage to see if our updates are helping to improve the experience of search.

What that means

When you search our current website, you’ll be directed to the new search results page on the beta website.

A screenshot of the new search service

A link to the previous search function will be available on the new search results page. So if you wish you can flip back to the previous way of displaying the search results.

At this point we can track how many users left the new search and why. We’ll be tracking this through Google tag manager.

You can also leave a comment on why you wanted to come back to the previous way of displaying search results. This feedback will help us work towards improving the new search service.

Our new search service will still be searching the current website content which means all content on the parliament.uk domain. The results are a mix of old and more recent content. Our new search results display more content than the current one, like petitions.

We'll also be doing research with users about their experience of the new search results so that we can improve them over time. You can try the new service and let us know what you think.

Improving the search experience

We’re working to make search better. That means results that are more relevant and presented in a clear and usable way. We're doing this by speaking to users and showing our work.

Our plan is to get people using the new search service and then iterate based on the feedback we get. We want to make sure that we show better results for everyone with an interface that’s relevant and understandable.

For more information on search, leave a comment below or email Dia Nag or Robert Brook.

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