Given that Google, the most well known and used search experience trialed and killed instant search (Google instant) and relies on a 2 step search requiring users to type their query and then search in combination with auto suggest and previous searches - is this the most expected search pattern?

3 Answers 3


Users love search for two reasons(Nielsen):

  • Search lets users control their own destiny and assert independence from websites' attempt to direct how they use the web.
  • Search is also users' escape hatch when they are stuck in navigation.

So if you want to tame a lot of dynamism you always need to go for Autosuggest and previous search queries which can also limit the endless frustrations we have from search. As it can be the source of the worst usability problem on the web.

So these can be thought of for search experiences

  • Is the search providing more of answers than choices

  • Is it implicit within the product experience

  • Adapting to all form factors

Its more of a enabler to your users


Depends. Are you doing search to drive ad sales or to actually deliver the most relevant result without passing through a results page?

Not trying to be too smarmy - Google does a lot of things great, but they have definitely started to sacrifice the sacred cow a little.


To answer your own question you should search for studies and articles regarding user expectations for search that were conducted after the advent and public release of Google Instant and that take Google Instant into account.

Here is one I found using Google Search: https://npr.design/im-feeling-lucky-building-great-search-experiences-for-today-s-users-7129ae15cfa

I won't attempt to speak for the masses, however I can make an educated guess that: the most common behaviour of search mechanisms is also the behaviour that most people expect.

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