Let's say you have a search box where you can type in anything.


And then a list of items below it:

Carl Smith
Maggie Fox
Richard Jordan

Typing on the search box basically filters the items shown to whatever matches the 'keyword'.

Each of the items has more details inside them like id number and address. But due to space constraints, these other details are not displayed.

However, we'd like the user to be able to search for ID number and address too. Is it okay that these are not shown in the results displayed?

Say, Carl Smith has an id number of ABC123. If the user types in ABC123, the results section would only show the name, as in:

Carl Smith

Of course, when they click this item, it will show the entire details about Carl Smith on another page (including his id number which is ABC123).

Just wondering if UX-wise, is it acceptable or not? Especially, for result items that has a lot of data in it. (Here, I only gave an example of 2 additional data info per person but it could be more, e.g. 20+.)

2 Answers 2


You are doing a search across multiple fields. In your case, I would recommend result records to be shown in two lines. The first line will have primary field, like Name in your case and the secondary line will have the field title and content that is matching the search query. In case the search in the the primary field, you will not need the second line.

This approach helps in pinpointing the exact record quickly.

  1. It helps in highlighting which field the search request maps to
  2. It helps in selecting the right record based on which field it matches to.

Let us say a certain term is common part of address for many names. Like 'United'. This can be part of United States of America, so certain records will be highlighted with adjoining field information of (Address - United...) But there would be titles having that word as well. This information will help making the right choice.

Additionally, your algorithm can sort the records based on priorities keeping the direct match on top of the inner fields match. This will help users to make the right choice quickly.

Here is a quick mock up.

enter image description here


It is not good to show only the name in the search results in your case for the following reasons

  1. I assume the id number will be unique in your case. But users may have same names. So, what if the user searches for John ? There can be many Johns in your search result. Showing the ID number will help him to choose the right item in the list.

  2. If you are just showing the name, there are chances that the user clicked on a wrong item in the search result. Then he has come back and search again, remember the wrong item he just clicked to exclude it and try on other items. It will be an annoying experience for the user.

So, If your search field accepts names and id number show them in the result. It will solve lot of time for the user.

PFB my quick wireframe.

enter image description here

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