I have to redesign a map component, like the cards from Google Maps. In this case we have to select a sign from a repository ir order to set up to a Highway Gantry.

As we have more than 120 different signs I have to add a search tool but I want to combine the typical text search with the power of tags to make easy to find "weather" signs or "danger" signs.

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How can I combine the Text Search and the Tag system in one single line in a nice way?

UPDATE: We cal also change from "Graphic view"to "Text View"

enter image description here

(A) Search (B) Toggle Results Style (C) Library Message List (D) Page Scroll

  • Who is the search aimed at? Is it the operators of the highway gantries themselves (I would assume so). The reason I ask is that the target audience may be more familiar with terminology used in these signs. However if it's for general public use then that means less familiarity with the terms used.
    – JonW
    Jan 30, 2014 at 9:12
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    Thanks @JonW, It's only for qualified operators. And you can alternate the graphic view with the text view, where you can find the searchable names.
    – Kilian
    Jan 30, 2014 at 9:59

1 Answer 1


Update: I rewrote my answer after thinking more.

I'm not exactly sure that combining the two is a great choice.

You can differentiate tags and and a search string with a common differentiator -- a hash before a tag tells your system to treat that term as a tag instead of a search string -- but mashing the two may needlessly make your system more complicated and less accessible for the average user.

Modifying a facet, and generating a search string, are two distinct tasks. The former involves selecting from a predefined taxonomy of categories, while the later involves the creative process of describing an abstract schema in a concise set of words.

You may want to seriously consider whether there's actually a need to try and combine them, outside of aesthetics.

  • Hey @Matt, the magnifying glass is the button. What happens if the written text (only one word with no space at the end) matches the same name of a tag? Will we search among the tagged items or/and among the items that contains the word? There are completely different searches...
    – Kilian
    Jan 30, 2014 at 15:05
  • Depending on the dominant language of your users, the enter button traditionally goes at the end of the line -- if it's (Spanish, Catalan, Italian? I'm sorry I'm not very good with romance languages), the button should generally go on the right. Buttons on the left are commonly used for drop-down menus. Also, I rewrote my answer after considering your question -- not sure if combining them is really the way to go.
    – Matthew
    Jan 30, 2014 at 15:15
  • Check this out [link] (ux.stackexchange.com/questions/45881/…), I don't think is a question of the dominant language, left icon it's more about what are you doing. Besides, we don't need a button when you only have to press <enter> to execute the command.
    – Kilian
    Jan 30, 2014 at 15:52
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    And, let me be more firm in my conviction - I don't think combining the two is a good idea. I would recommend keeping them separate, though related, activities, the execution of which is triggered by the joint search button.
    – Matthew
    Jan 30, 2014 at 22:01
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    Thinking it back... I guess you're right. It's a bad idea to combine both features in one line. My fault, always mini-minimizing things...
    – Kilian
    Jan 31, 2014 at 7:48

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