Skip to Content

Watch, listen & learn from the world’s best UX experts.

Expert: Peter Morville

Headshot of Peter Morville

Peter Morville is probably most famous for being the co-author of the all-time great Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, which he wrote with Lou Rosenfeld. His second book, Ambient Findability, is also one of our all time favorites. His workshop on information architecture was a hit at our User Interface Conference, and we're glued to the amazing insights he delivers from his blog at

Headshot of Peter Morville
Peter Morville

Leveraging Search & Discovery Patterns For Great Online Experiences

Headshot of Peter Morville
Peter Morville

Search & Discovery Patterns
Almost every site has a search function. But, do they all work as well as they could? More importantly, how is your site's search doing? Are users abandoning the site in frustration, because they can't find what they want?
The abundance and variation of search implementations out there present a challenge to designers: how do we leverage the behaviors our users are developing to ensure they find the content they're seeking? By understanding how people interact with search implementations, we can create effective designs that deliver great experiences for both searching and discovering.

We couldn't have timed this seminar better. In just a few weeks, Peter Morville will put his new book, Search Patterns, to press. And Mark Burrell and his team at Endeca have been working hard to release their new UI Design Pattern Library for Search & Discovery. So, this is the perfect time to talk about how to leverage patterns for better search designs.

In this seminar, Peter shares his new material and shows us the typical user behaviors that emerge when users face a search box or a page of results. For example, you'll see how many users cleverly reduce the number of results to improve the relevance of each one (a behavior Peter calls Narrowing). You'll also see how some users will take a result they believe is relevant and authoritative—a "pearl" as it were—and use that result to search for other relevant and authoritative materials.

Understanding these user behaviors help us craft better search interfaces. Peter will reach into his huge collection of search implementations to show us perfect matches for the typical user behaviors.

He'll walk through a pattern he calls "Best First", where you'll see how to leverage the power of having almost perfect results appear at the top of the list. He'll discuss the "Auto-complete" pattern, where the search box makes suggestions from the first few letters typed, showing you how it helps get to a result faster while helping users see the breadth of information available. And he'll talk about the "Faceted Search" pattern, demonstrating how filtering with dynamic databases can provide a powerful and quick way to hone in on the user's target.

We'll wrap the seminar up with Mark showing you how to adapt search patterns to your own site. Using a specific challenge as an example—presenting results where the items are different types—Mark will walk you through Endeca's UI Design Pattern Library for Search & Discovery, using the same methodology his own design team employs. You'll see how patterns get you quickly to high-quality solutions.

This seminar is perfect for you, if you're working on providing the best experience with your site's search implementation. Bring your entire team and schedule extra time to talk about what you've learned—you'll be wanting to implement Peter and Mark's ideas right away.