I have an application that has many "lists" of data. For example, lists of appointments, billable accounts, patients etc. At the top of each section page, there are action links: "Create patient", "Search patients" etc.

However, usually the user knows what they're looking for and they just want to go there with a quick search. Ideally I'd like a common word that can be used across the application to "go to" an item.

Here's what I currently have:

example 1

Clicking on "Go to patient" would bring up this dialog to quickly go to a patient:

example 1-dialog

The problem with this link is that it seems repetitious of the word "patient": "Patients", "Create patient", "Go to patient". Does anyone have any suggestions on a word that would mean to go directly to an item by a quick search?

I've come up with "Go to patient" and "Navigate to patient"

  • You're not navigating, the interface is taking you there! "Navigate to patient" implies that I have to go to a menu for Patients, find Patient X, move my mouse to Patient X...
    – Zelda
    Commented Nov 2, 2011 at 3:00
  • Any reason the items in the list are not links to view the item?
    – Erics
    Commented Nov 2, 2011 at 8:27
  • @Erics - There are... but the list is paged. There could be 1000+ items. Commented Nov 2, 2011 at 10:20
  • @BenBrocka - Justification for "Navigate To" is from VS2010's "Navigate To" feature... which does exactly this. Commented Nov 2, 2011 at 10:22
  • 1
    I'd call this "Search" or "Lookup", if a label is required (see my answer). On the internet, it feels really weird to have an explicit action called "Navigate to X" - navigating to something is the implicit purpose of every link on the web! Commented Nov 3, 2011 at 15:33

9 Answers 9


Maybe I’m missing something but couldn’t you just use “View patient…”?


"Direct access" or "Quick search" perhaps.


Here are two options that cut right to the chase:

enter image description here

Search boxes at the top of a list are very common, and pretty well baked into users' expectations in this day and age, so I don't think labeling is much of an issue.

I'm also assuming that your users are more likely to use search than to create a new Patient, hence the search goes on the left.


How about "Search Patients" or "Access Patient"?


i would go with "patient search".

You mentioned that the users usually know what they are looking for. If that is the case, why don't you move the search box from the dialog window, and place it next to or under your links and title. You can even filter the result below directly (live search). You will reduce the number of clicks, make the search more discoverable, and simplify both the interface and JavaScript code.


Since your app already has the "Patients" header at the top, you can adjust the labels to "Create" and "Search" (or "Select" or "View" or "Find"). This way you're not repeating "patient" throughout the screen and it's still clear what the user can do.


Although users need a bit of direction, they are generally able to figure something out for themselves. Often it is the clutter that gets in the way.

I would go with a simple


Create | Go to | etc

Just make sure the label Patients and the menu items are close/bordered/generally associated with each other so that the visitors eye instantly links them together


I would say: "Select Patient" because, according to your screenshot, it is exactly what is done. You have a list of patients and you select one. The autocomplete feature is alternate UX solution for long dropdown lists.


You already said your users know what patient they want to view. Sounds to me like they are well aware of the software and are power users. So once they see the search they will start using it and never have a problem.

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