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Search based GUI in applications

Updated on June 24, 2012

Search based GUI

Adding search to a GUI really improves usability and overall user experience. It can be a pain in the neck to manually search for a particular option in a complex GUI with several tabs such as Microsoft office word 2007. You need to remember all the options in order to be able to efficiently use the program. Most of the GUI based programs do not have search based GUI as of now and it is difficult to get used to the GUI without much effort.

In case there is a search based GUI and highlights options/buttons as we search for it using a suggesting keyword, that would make the task a hundred times easier.Recently i have used 1 or 2 programs with search based GUI and i think it is marvelous to have it. It is so intutive to use search based UI.

Suppose you have to add a media file to a word document and you are a novice user. In case there is no search based UI you'll have to go through all the options to find out that one button in that one tab which allows you to add media to the document. In case there is integrated search, you just type the keyword 'add media',naturally, and the button/tab containing that option is highlighted to get you started right-away. I particularly like the windows7/vista start menu because it offers instant search. I think every complex GUI based program should have such basic integrated search.

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    • nitin.pant profile imageAUTHOR

      Nitin Pant 

      6 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Finally Ubuntu has added such a feature with the Hud. On Ubuntu 12.04, press Alt and you can search through all the menus of the currently active application!

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