I am looking for a FE search technique that an agent user can use to find related clients (family members) within a database of their clients.

A new product is being launched with an option where there is value to the agent if they can group related clients together. The tool we are building will help the agent with the grouping but we only have the client list and their addresses, and we want to help provide suggestions.

Here is an example of the data we can provide: enter image description here

We had originally thought the agent would search all clients under the same address, but during user testing they did not have the addresses, and did not choose to look them up. Instead going with client name.

enter image description here

An idea has been floated that we just give them all their matches or give them the option. You lookup client name and then checkbox to see other types of suggestions. This may work but looks pretty ugly.

enter image description here

Another UX question helped me find these JS Angular chips search method, which would let the agent search multiple clients to build a larger group to make selections but does not help with giving them other possible family members they may have forgotten about.

enter image description here

The least appealing option would be to make available a separate list for each client where we have gleaned all possible suggestion based on address or surname. This is not great because it is not dynamic, and if a group is created and they later forget to add a new policy to the group then the tool would help and a report would be less value.

Any thoughts on how to complete the search?

Note: search will be FE. All data will be loaded FE and searches/filters completed without further severside inquiries.

  • Could you kindly change the question title from the very general 'Search techniques' to something more descriptive? It's hard for people looking at the list page to infer what the question is about; thus, people either won't click on your question (poor information trigger) or click on it and spend valuable time only to figure out what is it about.
    – Izhaki
    Nov 23, 2016 at 22:39

1 Answer 1


Redefining search results can be done with filters. Filters should be used to lower the number of results, but using filters to make a search of a search result can become confusing.

You can make use of filters manually such as the way Evernote does. For example

chicken tag:cooking created:2016

This can be achieved using some UI as the one you propose in the question.

If you want to recommended similar/related searches you can take a look at how Google images does it (images in the black box are similar to the one selected):

enter image description here

In your case something similar displaying "Clients with the same surname" or/and "Clients with the same street" could work. But in my opinion it needs to be separated from the normal search results.

Something similar to this:


It could be using a different tab, a modal, etc. The point is to make a new list of results from a selected result, not from the search field.

Also I don't think it is a good idea to use two search fields. You could use one and give the user both results in different tabs (think of Google image | videos | map), give the user the tag filter system commented before, or make the selection of that search in a dropdown/radio buttons ("name" | "address"). Or leave it to one search field.

  • To keep separated you are thinking something like ubersuggest.io where the primary search results appear in the first tab and suggestions could be in the second tab?
    – Ben
    Nov 23, 2016 at 18:06
  • Your example web could work, it basically has the extra actions in a separate tab (based on the selection of main results). I think the Google example in the image is quite convenient and clear, as it is a similar search based on that specific result.
    – Alvaro
    Nov 23, 2016 at 18:10
  • The primary search could identify more than one client, for example a search of Fernandez could result in multiple clients at multiple address, and their 'more suggestions' could be exponential (ex. 2 other clients for each address). I cannot envision a google image style solution where the list is long. I do understand that a single screen would be preferable.
    – Ben
    Nov 23, 2016 at 18:25
  • 1
    Check this image. Let me know if it is not clear
    – Alvaro
    Nov 23, 2016 at 19:16

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