Faceted Classification

facets.jpgUnlike a simple hierarchical scheme, faceted classification gives the users the ability to find items based on more than one dimension. For example, some users shopping for cars may be most interested in browsing by particular make or model (Toyota, Ford; Rav4, Mustang), while others are more interested in browsing by mileage or price. Make, Model, Mileage, and Price are examples of facets; Toyota and Ford are examples of facet values.

If you look at websites of major retailers and other big businesses, you will see some sort of faceted navigation. On the Target, Wal-mart, Home Depot, etc site you can see that products are broken into categories. After choosing a category a list of facets or dimensions are shown on the let menu. Each product has been classified in a way that makes it easy for the user to find it.

Studies have shown that 69% of sites use some sort of faceted classification. This statistic shows the prevalence and power of this technology.

Main and secondary facets

35% of pages with faceted navigation gave emphasis to one facet over one or more secondary facets. This was done by:
  • Giving a more prominent page position and/or greater visual weight to primary facet(s)
  • Displaying the values for primary facet(s) on the page, while presenting only a link to the values of the secondary facets or using a pull-down menu to contain the values for secondary facets.

Single-level vs. multi-level facets

67% of sites providing faceted navigation did so at a single point in the browse path. For example, on a top-level page, the user may have the option to browse by brand or category, but no additional faceted navigation options are presented along the browse path.

28% of sites providing faceted navigation at more than one point in the browse path, creating a progressive filtering experience based on multiple criteria.

4% of sites providing faceted navigation presented multiple filtering options on the page in a search-like interface. The user selects one or more values from a pull-down, clicks submit, and the page displays a filtered list of links based on the selected values.

Last edited May 6, 2013 at 12:56 PM by codetools, version 5


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