Skip to main content
July 19, 2013

Build talk of the week: Design and build a great search experience in your app

Improving the search experience was an important goal for Windows 8.1, both across the OS and inside of every app.
The key to delivering a great search experience for your users is to make it as fast as possible.
Once users have decided what to look at, it’s the job of search to get them that content quickly, without any roadblocks.
When search delivers on that, users will love the power that you’ve provided to them.

In Windows 8.1, we’ve taken these principles to create an “Everywhere” scope in the Search charm that searches your PC, the cloud, and the web.
Over time, we’ll add support for searching inside apps as well. In Windows 8.1, we’ve created a brand new
search box control built from the ground up to help you take advantage of these principles, too.
By using the features built into the SearchBox, such as history and suggestions, taking advantage of the flexibility of an in-app control,
and creating well-designed results pages, you’ll give users a reliable way to get to exactly the content they want at exactly time that they want it.
That’s power and efficiency your users will appreciate.

Image showing the Search box listing possible search options

Moving from the Search pane to the Search box control

In Windows 8.1, the Search box control replaces the Search charm as the primary way for interacting with search within a particular app.
Moving from the Search contract and Search charm integration to the new Search box control does require some API changes, however,
the SearchBox APIs were modeled on the SearchPane APIs, to help ease the migration. Overall it’s simple to migrate your code from leveraging
the Search charm to the SearchBox and your users will love how much easier it is to get to content within your app.

Resources for integrating the Search box into your app

I gave a talk at Build/ 2013 to demonstrate the power and flexibility the Search box control provides to developers.
There, I showed how to add the control to an app and provided guidance around its use, migrating from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1,
and effectively responding to window sizes. You can view the talk below:

Download this video to view it in your favorite media player:

High quality MP4 | Lower quality MP4

Additional details around using SearchBox can be found here:

Wrapping up

Search is a powerful tool that helps users get the most out of your app’s content. By leveraging the Search box, you provide users with a
fast and efficient way to navigate to the content they want in your app.

–Jon Gordner, Senior Program Manager Lead, Windows