I have a site which performs different search services. For example, some of my different searches are weather, events, and business search.

What's the best way to give the user a way to switch between these searches? Some companies that already do this are Google and the black bar on the top that directs to other Google search forms or services, Diapers.com which has different sites displayed in a way similar to Google, with navigation on the top. A different look for this is Google experiment with hidden navigation or the countless others that have probably tried differently.


  • Amazon.com's model might be worth a look also; it pairs a search box with a drop-down that specifies the scope or type of search; it defaults to the entire site, but you narrow it to search only in books, or music, or specifically downloadable music. Also worth noting that Google's results page displays a mix of different types of search: look up Mt Everest, and you'll get page matches, but also the first five images matches, which leads the user in the right direction if they didn't notice the image tab in the first place.
    – BrendanMcK
    Oct 26, 2012 at 5:34

1 Answer 1



download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

Would this do?

  • FWIW, one issue with this design is that you end up doing all possible searches first (at least in this visual, given that there's total counts visible), and filtering them afterwards; that's a waste of effort; as compared to selecting a category first and then searching within only that category. If you move the tabs here above the search bar, then you essentially have Google's current idiom.
    – BrendanMcK
    Oct 26, 2012 at 5:25

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