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Any solid conventions/alternatives for a "speed dial" to recall recent/historical data? Some context: the primary task of this web app revolves around running a search using a combination of categories (X+Y+Z). I need a way for users to recall (and execute) the last 10 searches performed. This speed dial concept in Safari is interesting, but my items aren't graphical in nature. Perhaps I'm making this more complex than it needs to be!

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What is the UX challenge\issue in your question? –  Mervin Johnsingh Dec 11 '12 at 22:44
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2 Answers

I have two suggestions, but since I'm not too clear on your UI, I don't know if they would be applicable.

If the users piece together the search by selecting components, which generates the final X+Y+Z search query, maybe provide a drop down menu with recent searches (just the text X+Y+Z version). This would also be useful if you wanted to store saved searches in the future.

If the search is a single text input, where they type a word, phrase, or query, you could use the up key to scroll through previous history, like in Unix-based systems. Or, use an auto-complete-style drop down with recent searches when the input has focus (like many search engines do now).

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The best example I have, which also relates to search is this combined autocomplete and recent searches list from the old Safari 5:

Safari 5's combined autocomplete and recent searches list
Image from DonDubois.info

That's especially neat because you don't have to really find any new place for it; it just extends your existing autocomplete functionality.

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