My team and I are developing a search box which will allow for more than just searching. The goal is to allow users to do not only complex queries, but also use the box for go-tos and some calculations. For example:

  • new request (would go to the new request page)
  • super nintendos (find all super nintendos)
  • John Smith (search for people named John Smith)
  • John Smith in building 3124 (people named John Smith in building 3124)
  • property owned by John Smith in building 3124 (I think you get the idea)
  • (show the ips for the subnet for the mask)

Think Google's search but dumbed down and specific to a web application. Internally we are referring to it as omni search as it feels like something more than "advanced" search. Is there a name for this type of search? Are we following a particular design pattern without knowing its name?

4 Answers 4


More generally, you may see this referred to as semantic search, which tries to establish the meaning of words in a query.

Semantic search seeks to improve search accuracy by understanding searcher intent and the contextual meaning of terms as they appear in the searchable dataspace, whether on the Web or within a closed system, to generate more relevant results.

Source: Wikipedia


It is usually referred to as "unified search", which is both a name and a general description for what it is. The term is used by many companies, including Zoho and Linkedin.

enter image description here


Chrome and Firefox do something similar in what was once called the address bar. They now refer to it as the omnibox and awesome bar, respectively. Hopefully someone will confirm my memory on those terms.

  • Yeah we totally lifted the name from Chrome, but didn't know if Google had lifted it from somewhere else.
    – ahsteele
    Commented May 1, 2013 at 4:20
  • 1
    Not that I'm aware of. But it's not a particularly original name either. Just reasonable language awareness ;) Commented May 1, 2013 at 4:30

They call it Graph search at Facebook

enter image description here

At Apples it goes by the name of Unified Smart Search Field

For your concern, there is a fine article about search research at Google and their secret goal :-).

  • 3
    Graph Search is more of a Facebook specific term and not a generic one which could be / should be used in other circumstances.
    – Mohit
    Commented May 1, 2013 at 10:37
  • That was just my two cents so say the vocable has yet to be found. Commented May 1, 2013 at 10:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.