The website versions of the ContactMD offers the various search and retrieval options and ways to access and display information. If you prefer, access can be monitored and controlled.
The user's experience needs to be kept in mind so they can explore the content. The user will be able to do various basic to advanced searches. However, they can also look up information at any point:
- For example: if someone searches a name they will receive a list of results. If the results include address details, email, phone, etc. but, for example, the user can also click on the suburb and see all the other contacts in the suburb.
- Additional cross-referencing can also be done using additional look up options such as the same surnames, cities, etc.
Each database product will include search and retrieval options similar to these below:
Similar to a web search like Bing or Google where the user simply enter a search term, or terms, and the user gets a result. This kind of search avoids frustrating a user who is unsure what to search on. However, it is not a useful search option if looking for something specific; hence, an Advanced searches should also be offered.
Guide the visitor through the content such as:
- Look up a list of names of people, businesses, organisations, ...
- Look up a list according to suburb, town, city, country, ...
- Explore the directory according to category: lawyers, museums, furniture suppliers, stationary suppliers, ... the list is endless and these options here depend on your content
- Explore the directory according to keywords - the options here depend on your content. Also, there are various Thesaurus options to carefully manage the keywords.
- Search specifically on various terms across various fields: i.e. people or organisation names, only street addreses, ...
- Provide searches-within-searches, i.e. searching only within a suburb or city, ...
Every search option will provide
- Clear and distinct list of search results.
- Access to relative components, i.e. if searching an organisation you can click through to people associated with the organisation.
- The search results should offer a print button so the user can print the list for reference purposes.
If a user clicks on a name after a search they will view full details, i.e. person's name, business name, title, postal address, physical address, suburb, city, country, etc. - including any images (with click through to a larger image), documents, video or sound files.
Apart from being able to search databases separately, there are options of searching across the databases directly from the home / front page. From this simple search box the user will be able to access information across all databases on a website.
The results per database will be displayed on a page with the option of clicking through to the specific database to view the results.
Access to your data can be completely open to the public, or via various levels of access. Essentially, if controlled, a visitor will need to register and have a username and password to access the collection. Various logs can also be kept to track the visitor's activity.
The above database product offers an option to 'Export to Internet / Intranet'. This creates a separate file with specific data that includes content suitable for the Intranet. It also allows records being blocked entirely; i.e. items that need to be recorded but not allowed on the Intranet for some reason. Also, it allows the staff managing the information to choose when to make it available.
Many variations when searching such as:
A basic search where and term or terms can be entered:
Or guided search options - guiding the visitor through your data:
Or advanced search options - more for the researcher looking for specific information:
The results can be displayed in a variety of ways, such as a list:
At any point you can click through to the full details: