Top 10 Search Design Pattern Websites

Over the past few years we’ve seen a drastic improvement in search interfaces.  The development of ugly search boxes and incomprehensible search result screens should now (hopefully) be a thing of the past.  New search UI’s are designed and developed daily, that are crisp, clean, well thought out, and really help guide users to the information they’re looking for.  Search based concepts and technologies are finally starting to be properly recognized as being as important as the content they’re put in place to help discover.  A clean, well thought out search user interface not only makes a large difference in helping users navigate site information, but also goes a long ways towards bringing users back for more.

So we know that well thought out, clean and visually appealing search user interfaces are important, but where do we turn for design inspiration?  How do we keep track of what search design patterns exist, and how these design patterns can be incorporated into search based user interfaces?  Great questions! It just so happens we ask ourselves these same questions almost daily. To help answer these questions, we keep our eyes on a few different top-notch online search UI design pattern resources. We turn to these sites quite frequently, when looking for ideas to present to clients for search interface components, and when we want to see how other people are addressing common search related navigation issues. Here are what we consider to be the top 10 search related design pattern and showcase sites out there.

  1. Endeca – User Interface Design Pattern Library

    Endeca’s user interface design pattern library is extremely well thought out, and very search focused.

    Design endeca

  2. UI Patterns – User Interface Design Pattern Library

    UI Patterns’ pattern library is chock full of great search related design patterns. Their examples are modern and the library is very easy to navigate.

    Design uipatterns

  3. Welie – Interaction Design Pattern Library’s interaction design pattern library has been around for quite a while, and contains great search related design information.

    Design welie

  4. Search Patterns

    A great Flickr collection of search design patterns relating to Peter Morville’s Search Patterns book.

    Design flickr

  5. Blink’s Design Library

    Another great design library, with a good amount of search related design patterns. Design library elements are outlined with great screenshots and dialog.

    Design blink

  6. Elements of Design: Web Design Gallery

    A great web design showcase site, outlining several UI design elements. Many of these elements are search related.

    Design elements

  7. PatternTap

    We really like PatternTap’s clean and simple pattern discovery interface. A great site for search UI design inspiration.

    Design patterntap

  8. Patternry – UI Design Pattern Library

    Patterny hosts another great UI design library, with a few search related patterns and examples.

    Design patternry

  9. Quince – UX Patterns Explorer

    Lots of great search design content, supported by great implementation examples.

    Design quince

  10. iOS UI Patterns

    iOS specific design patterns, but can be applied to any mobile device. Great mobile search examples.

    Design pttrns

Over the past 15 years Hugh has worked on just about every kind of software design, development and maintenance project. Using his thorough technology experience, and developed search expertise, Hugh helps Norconex deliver successful search implementations. Hugh currently holds the position of Vice-President of Infrastructure at Norconex.