Search Essentials

Why reinvent the wheel?

Twigkit provides all the user interface components you would expect to find in a search application: from faceted navigation to advanced search, from as-you-type suggestions to result previews.

These out-of-the-box components enable you to achieve a search user interface in minutes, not weeks or months. And because they've been tested and refined across hundreds of applications and by millions of users, you can rest assured that they do what they say on the box.

Faceted navigation

One of search's most powerful capabilities, faceted navigation has transformed how people search and browse online, whether looking for books on Amazon, products on eBay, or films on Netflix. Twigkit's support for faceted navigation is unrivalled.

Whether you want to show faceted navigation as text links or checkboxes, have flat or hierarchical filters, enable users to click to see more filters, or be able to collapse and expand entire facets, it's all built in.

As-you-type suggestions

As-you-type search suggestions have become an expectation; users notice when they're not present.

Twigkit provides several methods for offering as-you-type suggestions. They can be driven by a simple list of terms, based on a field in the search index, or powered by the underlying search platform itself.

Advanced search

Many advanced search forms are so complex and difficult to use that no one wants to use them. Twigkit's advanced search component breaks that stereotype.

First, it can be accessed from the main search page itself — there's no need to relegate it to a separate page. Second, it always stays in sync with filters that the user has applied, whether through advanced search or faceted navigation.

This means that users can use the advanced search form to iteratively refine their query, without hitting the back button to return to a separate page.

Previews

Previews help users quickly peruse a given search result. This is particularly useful when dealing with Microsoft Office Documents, PDFs, or other files that may take time to download.

Basic controls

Controls such as pagination, breadcrumbs, results per page, and tabs — though not particularly exciting — are essential to virtually every search user interface.

Each of these components provides a good default, but can easily be configured — whether choosing how many pagination entries to show at a given time, to changing the results per page selection provided to users.

We take care of the boring (but deceptively complex) stuff so that you don't have to.

Overview

Faceted navigation

As-you-type suggestions As-you-type

Previews

Basic Controls

Advanced Functionality

Going beyond ten blue links

Search is emerging as a powerful tool for building advanced business intelligence and research-driven applications.

Data visualisation — from tag clouds to bar charts and pie charts — helps users understand the big picture. Mapping provides geographical context. Advanced faceted navigation, including multi-select and hierarchical filters, enables users to fluidly slice-and-dice the data. And the ability to export the entire result set allows for in-depth analysis.

Twigkit's advanced components enable a new breed of search-based applications.

Charts

Faceted data has a unique potential to help users see the forest for the trees. To make the most of this opportunity, Twigkit provides data visualisation components to fit every demand, including bar, pie, line, column, and scatter charts, and of course tag clouds.

Mapping

When search results have a geographical context, there is no substitute for seeing them on a map. Twigkit supports a number of map providers — including Google and Bing — and can easily slot-in other third-party providers.

Data export

Search is well suited for enabling researchers to find relevant information. But once they've identified results of interest — whether it's a set of companies, patents, or articles — they often need to perform additional analysis.

Twigkit enables users to export large numbers of results to Excel or PDF files (or an unlimited number of results to CSV). And for PDF export, the same Twigkit components that are used to construct the search page can even be used to layout the PDF.

Advanced facets

Faceted navigation is quite a nuanced science. While representing facet values as text links is effective when "AND-ing" those facet values together, some situations require that values be "OR-ed" together instead (for instance, the "Real Estate" sector OR the "Retail" sector). That's why Twigkit supports a multi-select mode as well as text links.

Facets can sometimes also be hierarchical in nature. Twigkit supports such hierarchical facets, and is optimised to display each level of the hierarchy efficiently.

Advanced as-you-type suggestions

Not only does Twigkit support multiple methods for delivering as-you-type suggestions — such as a static list of terms, a facet in the search index, or suggestions from the underlying platform itself — but it can present suggestions from those multiple sources in a single interface.

Overview

Charts

Mapping

Data Export

Advanced Facets

Advanced as-you-type suggestions

Collaborative Tools

Productivity, boosted

We've all been there: trying to re-find that document from yesterday, repeating the same search every day to see if there's anything new, or just having a hard time finding the right thing.

Twigkit's suite of collaborative tools makes users more productive. Remember valuable results by bookmarking them, save searches so that you can easily return to them later, like a result if it's helpful, and leave a comment for others.

Not only do these features make users more productive, but they can also enhance the relevancy of your search index by providing a valuable feedback loop. Useful results — those most bookmarked and liked — can receive a boost, while comments provide supplementary metadata.

Login

Twigkit integrates with identity management systems such as Active Directory for seamless authentication and authorisation. This means that users can access the search application with their existing user accounts, and start bookmarking and saving searches right away.

Saved searches

Saved searches enable users to save both the search query as well as any applied filters, and return to that saved search at a later date.

The more frequently users enter long queries and apply numerous filters, the more useful saved searches become.

Bookmarks

Found a useful result that you don't want to lose? Bookmark it.

The bookmark action reports how many users have bookmarked a given result, while the bookmark menu gives users quick access to all their bookmarks.

Like button

Popularised by Facebook, like buttons have popped up everywhere.

Twigkit's like button does just what you'd expect: it simply keeps track of who has liked a given result, and indicates to users the total number of likes for that result.

In addition, like button (as well as bookmark) statistics can be used as a feedback loop to enhance the underlying search engine's ranking.

Comments

Comments enable users to inform others — as well as remind themselves — of the gist of given document, and whether it's useful or to be avoided.

Overview

Login

Saved Searches

Bookmarks

Like button

Comments

Made for Mobile

Search, responsively designed

Twigkit uses responsive design techniques to ensure that the user interface works effectively across any device, whether computer, tablet, or phone.

On the desktop, Twigkit’s default markup and styling are backwards compatible all the way back to Internet Explorer 7, yet employ progressive enhancements to ensure the best result for modern browsers.

For mobile devices, Twigkit uses CSS3 media queries to optimise the user interface for handhelds big and small, delivering cross-platform support through a single UI.

Tablet

For tablet-sized devices, the top bar is condensed and touch targets are enlarged, the tabs become horizontally scrollable, and faceted navigation can be toggled on and off.

When shown, the facets appear in a drawer alongside the search results. When off, they get out of the way to maximise room for the results themselves.

Phone

Phone-sized devices are handled similarly to tablets, with the exception of faceted navigation. While tablets have large enough screens to display the facets and search results side-by-side, phones are only wide enough to show one or the other at a given time. On phone-sized devices, the faceted navigation drawer displaces the results until the user has made a selection or closed the drawer.

Overview

Tablet

Phone

Get in Touch

Give us a call at +44 (0)1223 653 163.