Most any entrepreneurial person has searched for a trademark on the USPTO.gov website. Their search feature is straight forward, if somewhat innefficient and inflexible. It’s as old-school as it gets.
What if we redesigned the search feature to take advantage of the latest faceted search technology? Let’s explore.
Trademark Search Before
The biggest problem with the USPTO’s trademark search is a lack of continuity and integration across it’s different features. There are five distinct screens that cover the breadth of their search capabilities. This is functional but not optimal. Search technology has come a long way in the last decade.
Below we can see the current trademark search screens:
Search Landing Page
Search by Dates
Free Form Search
Trademark Search After
The screens above could be reimagined through the lens of a more modern search interface, condensing a heap of features onto a single page. We end up with:
- Date Filtering
- Suggested Spelling
- Advanced options accessible at deeper levels of the interface
Facets are another way of filtering data by type.
Each column should be able to sort the data from ascending to decending, or vice versa. This function should be activated by clicking the column name.
Allow me to add a date filter as part of my search query.
It’s always nice to offer suggested spelling options. All major search platforms can be configured to support this.
Advanced options at deeper levels of the interface
Many times it’s advantageous to nest advanced interface options at deeper levels. It’s less work to click and open an envelope thank it is to click through to a new page. We could also store the visitor’s preference with a simple cookie so they don’t have to keep opening the advanced envelope each visit to our site.
Let the USPTO know what you think here on twitter.