Good UX Means Good Business
In a world where technology is rapidly advancing and user expectations are rising, it’s no longer enough to have an average user experience; to delight your users and surpass your competition you must strive for the exceptional.
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Google Search Appliance (GSA) frontend framework provides management of most of the elements for user search experience. Many times we need to customize the frontend to achieve a certain feel and HTML display for search results. Normally the changes can be done to the frontend directly via Admin Console and the GSA frontend framework can be used quickly to verify the customization results.
However, for complicated stylesheet changes, it would be very inefficient to verify every change through GSA. Here is a way of using localization on your workstation for a much more efficient stylesheet customization:
- Create a brand new frontend, say my_frontend with GSA admin console.
- Modify it via Page Layout Helper from Admin console to specify global attributes, the appearance of the Search Box, and search Results.
Even these changes can also be done through XSLT Stylesheet Editor, it would be quite easy to make changes through UI of Admin Console.
Export the frontend via XSLT Stylesheet editor to local system, say my_frontend.xslt.
If you want to customize display for Expert Search results, obtain the XSLT stylesheet for Expert Search through Google Enterprise Partner or Google support.
Once you have the stylesheet, name it as my_expertsearch.xslt, and put it under the same location as my_frontend.xslt.
Search “<xsl:include href=” in my_frontend, you should be able to see two instances as the following:
Comment out the line for customer-onebox.xsl. This is for onebox modules. We can worry about it later.
If customization to Expert Search results is needed, modify the line for expertsearch to use the file name with its extension.
Otherwise, just comment out the line for expertsearch as well.
Run a normal search from GSA, and then modify the URL by removing the parameter of proxystylesheet to get the search results in XML format. Save the results in a local file, say my_search_data.xml.
Use an XSLT transformation tool to work with the XSLT file, my_frontent.xslt and the XML data, my_search_data.xml.
Once you are satisfied with the customization, you could import it via Admin Console to overwrite the existing version of the frontend. Then you can further verify it through normal GSA search.