GW2 Trading Post
Blogs have a tendency now and then to focus on things that are negative, or to whine about a company (guilty). This is not one of those posts. I’m making an effort to talk about the good work games are doing when I see it, cause good work like that should be rewarded.
GW2 has done some amazing work with the search interface on their trading post (TP). I notice this because it’s what I do for a living, and it’s so damn easy to use. Diane and I talked quite a long time ago about SWTOR and their (horrible) interface for their GTN, and I want to do something similar today, but highlight how awesome ArenaNet has been for their trading post.
SWTOR did these as well, and ANet did it the same as them (as they should have). This is all pretty standard, and works just how it should.
GW2 also allows for sorting of search results by level, price, rarity, and # Available. The good news is, it sorts ALL of the search results, not just the ones on the page (like SWTOR did). Again, something small, but awesome.
Search as you Type
Everyone knows this, and uses it, and takes it for granted. ANet has done it right and done it well. It’s taken for granted in their game, and that means it works how it should.
Good for them. It’s something that can be extremely difficult to implement, but they did a good job of implementing it well.
They even did the awesome thing of having search as you type work for words in the MIDDLE of a phrase, which is awesome. So, if you want a “Berserker’s Pistol of the Earth” you can search for “Pistol” and it will bring up search as you type options for all different kinds of pistols, not just the boring standard pistol with no stats.
Free Text Search
This might seem strange, but GW2 also does have a free text search. You can go in and type in a string of random words, and it will search on that and bring you some results. They might not be exactly what you want, but you’ll get results. Many search engines that have a controlled vocabulary (like items in a video game) won’t bring you any results unless you type the item name in EXACTLY. GW2 isn’t like that. You can have your free text search as well as your item specific name search. It’s good to have both for different types of users.
Again, good on ANet for this.
What could they do to make the search better?
This is nitpicking because the search is pretty good already, but if they wanted their search to be downright sexy, they should add some facted searching.
Imagine using the GW2 TP like amazon. You search for a “pistol” and then you can use the filters AFTER you’ve searched. You can then narrow down search results by price, color, level, any of those attributes. That would be AWESOME. They are actually not too far away from it already, it’s just a matter of if they think it’s worth it or not. (They could hire me to help them out ).
Also, they could make their free text search a little bit better. It’s decent now, but it could get better. That’s just me nitpicking though.
GW2′s Trading Post is work of great searchability, others should take note. And then ArenaNet should add faceted search so they can be absolute pimps.
Ding! You’ve Leveled Up! Please see your local librarian for training.