I'm looking at the usability of a search form and the subsequent results and the form on that results page. Lets say you're searching for hotels. On the home page you have a nice clear search asking for your location, but would you also have a date picker? price range? number of people? Or would you put those on to a more detailed form on the results page?
I know from a personal point of view I want to get to the most relevant search results as quickly as possible though I don't want the user to end up with no results. I can cover all options at one point or other, it's just a question of which go on to the homepage and which go on to the search results page.
What are your experiences with searches like this? Is it better to give less initial criteria and to then let the user filter the search results or is it better to allow a quite detailed initial search?
I like the idea that the user does quite a broad search initially on say location, as this should yield at least some results as opposed to none at all. However I don't want to annoy users who know exactly what they want and would prefer to see the options as early as possible.
Any opinions would be much appreciated.
(I've added a poll for you to log your personal preference)