On the Android I see most of google apps deliver search results in the new screen (for example Gmail):

enter image description here

But I also see the apps that do search "in place",i.e. in the same view where the original list is (user remains in the same screen, list gets filtered and shown in the same view).

Are there any advantages for using one over other?

  • I think using a search bar in the same screen is just as you're searching using websites or systems. Search in new screen is good for mobile since it's cleaner and focus to just the search.
    – claudios
    Jan 24 '17 at 9:10
  • What about the case when there are also filter options for the same list? Should filters also be "copied" to result providing screen? (if not, I don't see how user could filter and search in the same time)
    – daneejela
    Jan 24 '17 at 9:14
  • 1
    Well, that's a different case. If filtering is applied you can also use both but for me I would display it in new screen then add a filtering option tabs and load the list suggestion below.
    – claudios
    Jan 24 '17 at 9:18

Filtering vs. searching
In the question of filtering vs. searching it's about context I think.
Filtering would happen in a list for example in the current view, while searching reaches across multiple views.

If we would take mail as an example, I think you would want to search across all directories you store mails in.

An example for filtering could be your contact list. You filter on your "search" term, narrowing down your contacts to a list with contacts named "John".

Same window vs. new window
The search in a new window you mention at first is actually an overlay that covers the current view. This is done because the search in your example wants to show recent search terms or might show autocomplete results. Imagine these autocomplete results being placed on top of the current view without any background... On mobile, because of the little screen real estate available, the overlay fills the entire screen. On larger screen this might only cover a small portion of the screen.

Filtering can be done in the same view, because you're removing unrelated items from the list in real time (while typing). The result is the same list, but filtered. Whereas the result from a search are (possibly) completely new items.

Advantage using one over the other?
This will depend on the context (your application) and what will give the best user experience in your situation (based on your assessment as an UX expert backed up by some testing).

  • Thanks for the answer! I see your point on search term as a way of filtering, but doesn't that mean that in the case of two screens (one with the original list, and the other for the search results) we are breaking filtering into two screens? for example: I want to find mails from my client, from the last month... if I filter by his name ( i.e. do the search) I am redirected to the new screen...Now if I want to filter it by date I have to go back to the previous list and filter it there, before doing search again...if that makes sense?
    – daneejela
    Jan 24 '17 at 9:28
  • And yes, sorry, those are actually autocomplete options on the attached image. But, I have checked on the phone, Gmail does provide results in the new screen. But they don't have any filtering options in the mobile app, except search. (and browsing through the folders in the navigation drawer)
    – daneejela
    Jan 24 '17 at 9:33
  • I agree having to go back to filter would be bad UX, but in that case you could just add the option to filter on the result page right? Or you could help people iterate on their search like is recommended for ecommerce. Allow for searching on name and date range. The current state of searching and filtering is not set in stone, it's meant to be improved upon. Jan 24 '17 at 9:58
  • I see your point..yes,adding the filters to the search result page could solve problem, but I still don't see strong reason to actually recreate almost-the-same screen twice..why just not filter in place? I hope I am not being annoying with my question, I would just want to understand pros and cons, so I can make a good choice.
    – daneejela
    Jan 24 '17 at 15:24
  • If there is a situation where you can ask yourself that question, chances are big filtering in place is the way to go. But let's say you have multiple pages with on every page a list. Like in a to do / list app. You have a page with a list named Groceries, a page with a list named Work tasks and a page with a list named Birthday wishlist. If you search across all pages (all lists), having results from the other two lists pop up in the Groceries page is strange. In this situation you could better show the results in a new page. Jan 24 '17 at 15:34

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