Peter Morville > Collections > Search Patterns > Design Patterns

What

A dynamic menu that suggests queries by matching what the user has typed so far with that user's recent search history and/or popular queries among users in general. In some cases (e.g., Apple), autocomplete features search results rather than queries, thereby serving the Best Bets function, and skipping the search results interface altogether.

Why

Serves as a short-cut, helping users to avoid unnecessary typing. Assists with spelling and may suggest related or more specific queries (that begin with or include that word or phrase).

When

Potentially useful in most contexts (but not always feasible).

How

User search data (search analytics at individual and/or group level) is required. Typically implemented with JavaScript.

See Also

Autocomplete (Yahoo Pattern Library)

Autocomplete (Delicious)

Autosuggest (Delicious)

Google Suggest

Google Suggest

2 photos

Apple

Apple

2 photos

Wowhead

Wowhead

3 photos

Answers.com

Answers.com

1 photo