Report:SumoBrain/Search Interface/The Search Forms/Structured Search
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The Field Search form is a structured field entry form that gives guidance to users not comfortable with using the command line interface of the Advanced Search form.
All available fields are searchable and have their own entry field. Fields are organized by related content, with group headings such as "Number Fields," "Common Fields," "Classification," and "References," to name a few. Next to each entry field there is a quick example of what can be entered. Further examples and explanation are shown in a pop up window when the user moves their cursor over the adjacent question mark icon.
All collection selection, date range, word stemming, and sort order options are identical to the Expert Search form and are explained in more detail on the Advanced Search page.
Overall, the Field Search tab is helpful and welcoming. The grouping of related fields establishes a layout where all fields are available to the user at once with minimal confusion. Short examples give users the necessary syntax to search each field, and pop up windows give the user extended information in a natural way without adding clutter. Additional links for help pages on coverage detail, country and state codes, and word stemming are also a welcome addition. Many patent search systems offer a similar structured search form, so this form will be instantly familiar to users who have tried other systems. SumoBrain strikes the right balance between guiding users with field location, giving them the power to search the full range of fields, and displaying the right amount of help with additional help nearby.