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We’ve added advanced filtering and sorting options to our search. Our design employs a friendly yet powerful, sentence-like experience to provide a conversational approach to refining searches. Try it now, and read more about the design and capabilities here.

Helping You Find Paths to the Right Content

We’re excited to announce our release of Advanced Search in Safari!

We’ve been hard at work on our search features and algorithms this past year, including a set of changes we wrote about last spring, sharing our thoughts on the importance of relevance, and implementing enhancements such as popularity boosting and searching inside a book.

But as always, we keep our ears open for feedback and strive for continuous improvement. And we heard you loud and clear that, as much as you love being fed recommendations, and as much as our search algorithm continued to move toward more targeted results, you still just want the opportunity to drill down deeper into a search result to manually refine your results. You want to be in the driver’s seat to limit a search within specific topical areas. You want to look within only a subset of publishers. Enter: Advanced Search.

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We’re proud to launch a different design approach to Advanced Search, or faceted search and refinement in general. Just tell Safari what you’re trying to find: based on the search term entered, refine your search by filling in the blanks of the following statement: “Showing (all media) in (all topics) from (all publishers) sorted by (relevance/other sort options)”.

Tell Me the Basics

  • As you enter each field to refine a search, you are presented with the categories available within the already-performed search. For example, when typing in “big data” and clicking which topics you want to refine down to, you are not presented with all Safari topics – you are only presented with topics that contain titles related to “big data”.
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  • When you click into a field, you can select a term using the mouse or keyboard, and you can begin to type to have the selection list show only matching terms.
  • Once you select a term, the search results update in place to reflect the refined criteria, and the facets update as well. Note that there are no dead ends: it’s not possible to narrow down to zero results using facet selections.
  • In all fields except the “sorted by” selector, you can select multiple options within the field.
  • You can remove a previously-made selection by either clicking into the field and pressing the backspace or delete key, or clicking on the “X”.
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Additional Tips

  • Find a query that rocks your world? Share your search string with someone by copying and distributing the URL, which updates with every facet selection. Note that the browser back button navigates through each selection event even though the entire page doesn’t refresh. We felt this would be the most intuitive and useful behavior.
  • Don’t forget you can still use standard boolean operators to refine your search further. Entering big data gives you almost 20,000 results. Entering the terms big data and unstructured brings those 20,000 results down to almost 8,000. And now, refining that result through the “Data Visualization” facet presents you with 27 very targeted results.

We know you love the volume of our library, but we also know that sometimes you need to quickly get to targeted results when you need something specific. This feature is just one of items that we have in-the-works to help you find an easy path to the right content. Have thoughts on how we can keep improving search or Safari in general? Let us know.

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4 Responses to “New in Safari: Advanced Search”

  1. Roy

    Who in their right mind thinks that “1 – 10” for hundreds or thousands of results is okay? You should give your customers the ability to increase the quantity of search results, e.g. 10, 50, 100, …

    • Mohit R. Dhanjani

      @Roy – Just update the browser URL and append '&limit=50'. Hope this helps.

    • Pasha

      Google and Bing? More results slow down the browser. The new functionality allows you to narrow your search and bubble up to the top the results you are looking for.

      I think you have a valid point though. What would you think about an option to turn on / off infinite paging (where more results automatically show up as you scroll down the page) ?

  2. Roy

    Thank you Mohit. Your suggestion works. Safari should give its customer the options to select the number of items returned using the search function.

    Thank you Pasha. Safari needs to understand that its customers pay the bills and therefore give its customers the options they need and want. You suggestion for infinite scrolling would be good as long as we do not have to use a mouse, due to the repetative motion disorders they cause. I hate having to click here, click there, and click everywhere. The page up and page down keys are one way infinite scrolling could work well.