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Search Patterns: Design for Discovery Paperback – February 5, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0596802271 ISBN-10: 0596802277 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Design for Disciple-Making
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (February 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596802277
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596802271
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #441,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Search Patterns is a delight to read -- very thoughtful and thought provoking. It's the most comprehensive survey of designing effective search experiences I've seen."
--Irene Au, Director of User Experience, Google

"I love this book! Thanks to Peter and Jeffery, I now know that search (yes, boring old yucky who cares search) is one of the coolest ways around of looking at the world."
--Dan Roam, author, The Back of the Napkin (Portfolio Hardcover)

"Search Patterns is a playful guide to the practical concerns of search interface design. It contains a bonanza of screenshots and illustrations that capture the best of today's design practices and presents a fresh perspective on the broader role of search and discovery."
--Marti Hearst, Professor, UC Berkeley and author, Search User Interfaces (Cambridge University Press)

"It's not often I come across a book that asks profound questions about a fundamental human activity, and then proceeds to answer those questions with practical observations and suggestions. Search Patterns is an expedition into the heart of the web and human cognition, and for me it was a delightful journey that delivered scores of insights."
--Dave Gray, Founder and Chairman, XPLANE

"Search is swiftly transforming everything we know, yet people don't understand how mavens design search: by stacking breadcrumbs, scenting widgets, and keeping eyeballs on the engine. I urge you to put your eyeballs on this unique and important book."
--Bruce Sterling, Writer, Futurist, and Co-Founder, The Electronic Frontier Foundation

"As one who searches a lot (and often ends up frustrated), Search Patterns is a revelation."
--Nigel Holmes, Designer, Theorist, and Principal, Explanation Graphics

"Search Patterns is a fabulous must-have book! Inside, you'll learn the whys and wheres of practically every modern search design trick and technique."
--Jared Spool, CEO and Founder, User Interface Engineering


Book Description

Design for Discovery

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Customer Reviews

Thanks for writing this, guys!
Joe Sokohl
Peter Morville's book Ambient Findability is one of the best books on search in its personal and social context, and probably my favourite non-technical O'Reilly book.
Steven Forth
I was a bit disappointed by this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Joab on August 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book definitely has some interesting analysis in it - especially chapter 4 (Design Patterns), which provides a really great breakdown of different ways in which a search interface is used, and how a basic search box can be enhanced. But for someone with a technical and practical bent, focused on design and implementation, I found much of the book close to unreadable - long waffling treatises that say the obvious, and keep saying it in several different ways. If you look inside the book and click 'Surprise Me!' a few times, you'll get the idea from one of the pages that comes up.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Tyler Tate on April 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
"There's no shortage of problems with search today," says Peter Morville at the end of Search Patterns, his most recent book. Throughout the book, Morville chronicles the challenges of search and effectively communicates the best practices of building usable search experiences. The book more than adequately accomplishes it's stated goal: to foster greater cross-disciplinary collaboration by increasing search literacy.

In the preface Morville sets out to tear down the walls between disciplines, and at this he succeeds. From user psychology to technical considerations to the specific components of the user interface, Search Patterns has something for everyone involved in implementing search.

The first two chapters lay the groundwork for the rest of the book, discussing both why people search and the individual components that make up search. The book is in full swing by chapter three where Morville discusses user behavior, elements of interaction, and -- my personal favourite -- the principles of design.

In talking about design principles, Morville describes search both as a conversation and a jazz-like improvisation. He urges the architect to make search an easy, simple process to initiate, followed by a progressively more sophisticated toolkit that enables users to iteratively refine their query. He argues for a no-suprises approach to the user interface in which valuable options are highly visible and elements of interaction are easily predictable. Many of the principles are applicable to a much broader context than search alone, but that only stregthens their merit.

The real heart of the book is chapter four, which looks at 10 design patterns over 50 pages.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Reto List on January 20, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Google may have set the standards for search, but there is much more than thinking inside the search box. Peter Morville and Jeffery Callender encourage us to think outside the box and explore all aspects of digital search: definition and significance, participants and context, user experience and psychology, design patterns, discovery engines, and future scenarios.

The outcome is an incredibly compact and entertaining design guide focusing primarily on web and mobile search, but lacking any reference to web analytics. A variety of concepts and patterns are illustrated using fascinating examples and well-thought-out visualizations. I appreciate the visualizations as they can be used as a reference, as summaries, or as refreshers. I completely agree with both authors, that we should be very passionate about search. "It's far more interesting and important than most people realize."

I can highly recommend this book, which is available both electronically and in print, to anyone who wants to better understand search and be more innovative when designing it. It is astonishing how much inspiration you can find when you start thinking outside the search box...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Steven Forth on February 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Peter Morville's book Ambient Findability is one of the best books on search in its personal and social context, and probably my favourite non-technical O'Reilly book. Once you have read Ambient Findability this is a good follow-up.

Search is becoming a universal solvent in software and media - it has transformed publishing and advertising and is poised to transform business intelligence, enterprise content management, data integration ... and when combined with augmented realities, geolocation and social networks will change how we live with each other. It is a big topic.

There are many things to like about this book: it is visually strong and makes good use of illustrations to bring abstract concepts to life; it covers the basics well; it reinforces the importance of context in search and computing generally (we have to think of context as a first-order object); it expands ones conception or search, search interfaces and the search experience.

I do have a couple of caveats - I agree with another reviewer that this is patterns lite, so lite that I question whether these deserve the name patterms. It does not meet the standards for clear thinking and presentation set in the Gang of Four book. This is not a problem unique to this book, over the past few years there have been many books that play loose with the pattern meme. I would also have appreciated a deeper dive on the emerging role of semantics in search. The best example of this is the role that GoodRelations is playing is searching and finding products on eCommerce sites. I suspect that open and evolving ontologies like Good Relaitons will transform search over the next decade.
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