Search Patterns: How to design a great search experience


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A presentation about the design patterns for search
described in the book “Search Patterns”
by Peter Morville and Jeffery Callender, with examples from Swedish websites using the search engine SiteSeeker.

The presentation was held at Geek Girl Meetup May 2010 in Stockholm, Sweden.

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Search Patterns: How to design a great search experience

  1. 1. Search Patterns: How to design a great search experience GeekGirlMeetup 22 May 2010 Stockholm, Sweden Pernilla Näsfors
  2. 2. Pernilla Näsfors – Who am I? 80% developer at Euroling, the company behind the enterprise search engine SiteSeeker for websites, intranets and e-commerce. 20+% IT consultant at my own company Social Polymedia, where Social = Socialt entrepreneurship & Social media and Polymedia = multiple media. The presentation can be found at
  3. 3. Today I will talk about… Design patterns for search, described in the book “Search Patterns” by Peter Morville and Jeffery Callender The slides can be found at
  4. 4. Best First
  5. 5. Why? In search, you’re only as good as your first results. The top 3 results will draw 80% of the attention. On most sites, a few very common queries account for a major percent of searches. A relatively small amount of human effort can make a big impact, by creating Best Bets.
  6. 6. Best First with Best Bets Manually mapping the most common queries to one or more starting points.
  7. 7. Autocomplete
  8. 8. What is Autocomplete?
  9. 9. How? 1. Pick the most common search queries 2. Find the most common inflectional form 3. Make sure all the queries get 1 or more hit 4. Match the typed letters to the suggestions 5. Look for spelling suggestions
  10. 10. Challenges What will you do when you don’t get any suggestions? Match only the relevant parts of a word: If the user starts writing ”me..” you should match ”GeekGirlMeetup” but not ”Bummer”
  11. 11. Federated Search
  12. 12. Federated Search Involves the simultaneous search of multiple databases or collections.
  13. 13. Few segments gives the best result
  14. 14. …but it does present challenges Remember to handle the case when you don’t get any hits in the primary segment
  15. 15. Faceted Navigation
  16. 16. Faceted or Guided Navigation
  17. 17. Search within a segment with facets
  18. 18. When? Almost ubiquitous in e-commerce given the availability of structured metadata and the clear business value of improving findability. How? Usually requires significant investment. Human effort required for defining metadata fields and values. Tagging can be distributed and/or semi- automated.
  19. 19. Query Refinement using keywords from search result
  20. 20. Advanced Search
  21. 21. What? Includes whatever simple search doesn’t Often serves as an anti-pattern, a lesson in what not to do... Only a few users actually use advanced search Is it a user-friendly query builder for novices or a power tool for experts?
  22. 22. Can be woven into the main search experience Kaffexperten espres| espressobryggare 17 espressokopparAndreja Premium10 bra espressobönor Värmeväxlare med 12 isolerad kokare. Sök efter: expressomaskiner Sök nespresso 8 espressomaskin rancillo 5 mjölkskummare automatisk espresso jura 10 Menade du espressomaskiner? gaggia espressomaskin manuell mässing kompakt 7 Visa alla trä ar 46 trä ar på espressomaskiner inom hela butiken 3 personer Johan Svensson Vilken ka emaskin bör jag välja? Ka ekännare Det nns en stor mängd olika ka emaskiner, och det kan vara svårt att veta vilken man ska välja. Dra nytta av vår enkla guide, så hittar 08-519 00 521 du snabbt en maskin som passar dina behov! Jag dricker ka e: ofta ka et ska vara: gott Visa Björn Andrist Espressoexpert Sortera efter: Espressomaskin Gaggia Baby Class 08-519 00 507 Relevans Nya modellen från Gaggia! Lättåtkomlig vatten- Pris tank, backventil och ny design. Ångarm med Namn kulled! Sarina Stranicky Typ Espressomaskiner > Halvautomatiska Ka ealternativ Gaggia 4 495:- Köp 08-519 00 518 Typ: Podsmaskin Brunopasso PD1 Alla 46 En ny podsmaskin från Brunopasso … separata Automatiska 12 termoblock för ånga och espresso, vilket gör att Halvauto 28 man kan skumma mjölk och göra ka e samtidigt … Uppvärmningstiden är under en minut, vilket Manuella 6 gör att maskinen aldrig behöver stå på i onödan. Espressomaskiner > Pods Fabrikat: Brunopasso 4 995:- Köp Alla 46 Ascaso Basic kvarnpaket, svart Jura 8 Ascaso Basic svart, Ascaso ka ekvarn i-mini svart, Promac 10 och 250 g ka e Rancilio 14 Broschyr PDF cachad Gaggia 12 Hölje: Plast, Vikt: 5,5 kg, Vattentank: 2 liter Siemens 2 Storlek: (B X H X D):21 x 31 x 29 cm Bruksanvisning Word cachad Espressomaskiner > Paket Ascaso 5 390:- Köp 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 NÄSTA »
  23. 23. How else might users wish to search? Think outside the box! Explore by singing (Midomi), drawing (GazoPa), color (Etsy, etc.
  24. 24. Personalization
  25. 25. Why? A compelling vision, but personalization is a hard problem. What we wanted yesterday or last year often fails to predict our interest and wishes today and tomorrow.
  26. 26. Sometimes, personalization really works like magic Recommendation services such as, Glue or Amazon can find things using similar tastes.
  27. 27. Structured Results
  28. 28. Custom interface based upon the query type E.g. weather, stock, maps etc.
  29. 29. Actionable Results
  30. 30. Add products to your shopping basket
  31. 31. Unified Discovery
  32. 32. What? Search rarely stands alone. In most contexts, users move between modes of searching, browsing, and asking. You can also use search for other things than it is traditionally used for.
  33. 33. Search can be used to create dynamic lists...
  34. 34. …to find related pages, based on page content...
  35. 35. ...or to find love...
  36. 36. Recommended reading
  37. 37. Search Patterns by Peter Morville and Jeffery Callender Search pattern library online:
  38. 38. Search User Interfaces by Marti Hearst Can be read online:
  39. 39. Tack! Thank You! Asante sana!
  40. 40. Pernilla Näsfors @pernillan @socialpolymedia @siteseeker_blog