Better Faceted Navigation: Advanced Design Techniques

Session Title

Better Faceted Navigation: Advanced Design Techniques


Mike Madaio, QVC

Session Type: Presentation

Faceted navigation has become the standard search/browse interface for any website presenting a large catalog of items, but technology has improved drastically since the introduction of this concept, and the original interaction designs for this feature are becoming outdated. Using newer technologies such as (but not limited to) AJAX, we can now offer the user much more powerful tools to narrow the focus of their search. Advanced techniques in this area include multiple-value selections, visual navigation, range sliders and partial page refreshes, among others.

As with many innovations, however, when we expand beyond known best practices, many new questions emerge. What value does the ability to select multiple values for a given facet bring? Should all or part of the page reload? Which new UI widgets help the customer make a better decision, and which simply add noise and confusion? And what impact does each of these decisions have on the overall experience?

In this session, we will answer these and other questions by reviewing emerging trends in faceted navigation and by sharing the learnings from QVC’s design process, test results and implementation of an updated navigation. We’ll also take a look at some of the other sites attempting to innovate in this area and review how they performed in usability testing. Lastly, we’ll begin to build a new set of best practices for advanced faceted navigation interfaces.


Mike Madaio has been developing user experiences in some capacity since 1997 as an information architect, interaction designer and usability researcher. Currently Mike is the Lead, User Experience at QVC – the nation’s largest electronic retailer, where he drives user experience strategy on the web and other interactive platforms (such as mobile and interactive TV). Mike also has a master’s degree in Human-Computer Interaction from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).


  1. Posted September 21, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    Sounds like an IA Summit topic more than for I10.

  2. Posted September 22, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    This just give me another good reason why I should attend. I want to see this.