Preparing for Next-Generation Search

Why Search is Changing

The previous generation search page was built on technology that was optimized for browsers, devices and internet speeds that were common at the time. Technology has evolved tremendously since then. Your browser is 10 times faster than it was only a couple of years ago, high-speed internet access is common, and the use of mobile devices has skyrocketed.

Under the Hood

The next-generation search is constructed on a modular microservices architecture, with a super-responsive user interface built with modern JavaScript technologies, including Node.js and React.js.

If that doesn’t mean much to you, don’t worry. The keyword is fast.

What’s Changed

Faster Results
You’ll find the new search noticeably faster, whether you’re using a desktop computer, tablet, or your smartphone. No more page reloads when applying filters!

Pinned Filters
The next-generation search page comes with a new “pin” feature for filters. When you pin your filters, you can apply them to all subsequent searches.

Screenshot that shows the active filter slider turned on above the results on a search screen.

To re-use your filters for more than one search, select a facet from the sidebar to begin filtering your search results.

As you add more facets, they appear along the top of the search results. To apply these facets to your next search, click the pin toggle to turn it on.

You’ll notice that a pin icon now appears in your search bar, indicating that your next search will have the pinned facets applied to it.

Screenshot that shows the "pin" in the search box, between the search terms entered and the magnifying glass button used to submit a search.

To remove your facets you can click Clear Filters or click the X icons on each individual facet to remove them one by one.

Note that facet pinning applies only to searches done from the basic search box in the header. Advanced searches continue to be displayed as before. You can click the Modify my search link to change the search term but retain all of the other search criteria for your next search.

Screenshot that shows an Advanced Search, with the link to modify my search.Removal of Auto-Suggest for Author and Subject Searches
In conjunction with the rollout of next-generation search, we'll be disabling the basic search auto-suggest feature for authors and subject headings. The technology behind this feature is not compatible with next-generation search and is in need of re-architecting.

Screenshot showing a search by author for "rowling" with a drop-down menu displaying autocomplete choices to choose from, e.g., J.K. Rowling.

Although more than 75% of catalog searches are keyword searches, we understand that a substantial number of people do use author (10%) and subject searches (2%). That’s why BiblioCommons, our catalog vendor, is continuing to explore options for replacing it. It's their intention to restore the feature once they've found something that allows them to meet the performance standards that users of the Web expect from Google, Amazon and other such sites.

Rollout Timing

Over the next two weeks, BiblioCommons will be increasing the percentage of users who see the next-generation search from the current 50% to 100%. 

BiblioCommons will end support for the legacy search after May 1, 2018.

Feedback

If there’s anything that seems broken or that’s not functioning quite as you’d expect, please let us know through the built-in feedback system.

Screenshot of the feedback button for next-generation search.

We welcome your respectful and on-topic comments and questions in this limited public forum. To find out more, please see Appropriate Use When Posting Content. Community-contributed content represents the views of the user, not those of King County Library System