In a part of a winform application, there are different methods to achieve one goal, where users can select one or multiple ones.

Suppose this part of the application is responsible for search different search engines (different methods) for a given keyword (one goal).

My question is, what is the best way to display different search engines results for the same keyword?


The main requirement is to display each search engine result separately. There is no need to sort the result in any order but the results need to be compared sometimes.

Right now I have two design in my mind, First is to display each set of results in different tabs, second is to draw some kind of tree to show the result.

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    I think this may depend on how those results are going to be used - In the case of search results, it might be that you just want to find the best answer to a given question - in which case merging the results and then listing the answers by relevancy (regardless of source) might be the best way to go. If, however, you want to measure the top answer from each engine then you might want to show the results in some kind of table where they might be compared. I think we'll need to know a little more about the context of this one. Jan 15, 2018 at 9:12

2 Answers 2


Taking into account the necessity to show each search engine's results separately, a tab system would have the advantage of making it easy for the user to review each set of results, but it would be difficult to compare 2 or more sets.

To compare them, you could allow the user to select a number of tabs and then hit a "compare" button to display all selected results in one page, with one column per search engine.

I'm not sure how the tree structure would work. If based on the search engines, it would be like a navigation menu to visualize the results for each engine. Once again, you would need a system of selections to compare results.

You could have a tree consolidating results across all search engines, and for each result indicating which search engine produced it and in which position.

The best option will depend on the exact use case and user profiles.


The main question is - does user matter only for answer or for answer source too? In the first case there is your responsibility to present answers to be most relevant to his query - so you need to implement ranging answers, consolidating them, etc. In the second case, it might require to implement user managed setting for ranging engines and output responses engine by engine - say 3 first answers from each, thus user will analyze answers for most relevance by himself. But this method depends on user profile - average user, geek, etc.

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