If your work involves user experience in any way, you should be familiar with design patterns. Bringing patterns into your design will help you define and solve common problems related to user interaction and information architecture. Sharing patterns with your team help you establish a common vocabulary, in turn making it easier to convert past experience into new solutions. Resources like the Yahoo! Design Pattern Library is one of many pattern libraries I turn to for ideas and inspiration in my daily work.
Designing Web Interfaces brings us 12 standard screen patterns for Rich Internet Application (RIA) design. Both “03. Search/Results” and “04. Filter Datasets” are closely related to search applications. Search result filtering is also known as faceted search, a design pattern put into good use on websites like eg. kayak.com and oodle.com. iGoogle is a good example of a search-driven dashboard (“07. Dashboard”).
Peter Morville has gathered a collection of search patterns on Flickr, complete with examples from live websites. Patterns like Best Bets, Auto-Suggest and Structured Results (Universal Search) should be in the vocabulary of all managers, UX designers, information architects, interaction designers, and developers working with enterprise search.
Save time tomorrow, by spending some time today reading up on search design patterns.