Institution Search

Remember that in most cases, users encounter IdP discovery as an interruption of another task, such as trying to read an article. The recommendations in this section focus on helping users quickly find their institution and get back to their original task by minimizing clicks and cognitive load. 


  • Label the search page: “Find your institution” . 

  • Include descriptive text below the heading to provide clear instructions on what to search for. 

Search Behavior

  • Support for searching institution abbreviations, e.g., UCLA. 

  • Deriving institution from entered email domain is optional. 

    • User testing showed that most users are unlikely to enter their email address as a means of identifying their IdP.   However, email address is included as an option in the IdP discovery process because in some situations (for example mergers and acquisitions of corporations) institution name is ambiguous. 

    • Email addresses provided for IdP look up should not be retained; only the domain portion of the email address should be used to conduct the search. 

  • Provide a continuous progress indicator if search results are not displayed immediately so that users know that something is happening.



Accessibility Notes for Institution Search

  • Provide labeling that is available to assistive technology. Users need to be aware of control labels, headings, tip, and other content using screen readers. We recommend complying with the most current version of WCAG Accessibility guidelines at the AA level:   WCAG 2.1 or its subsequent versions.  

  • On page load, bring keyboard focus into the search field so that users can start typing and searching without additional hand movements or clicks.

  • Provide progress updates that are available to assistive technology. Users of screen readers need to be aware of dynamically changing content.