I'm creating a search functionality, UI will be simple same like google search page with recent searched items under the search input box. Not as auto search, please refer attached image.

Now the questions are - Should the recent search list be a horizontal list? Or a vertical list somewhere on the screen? Is it enough to only provide a name (if user provided more search criteria) ? - How many items shall I show and on what basis? JFYI it is not search history page. - Can we make it possible to reuse recent searches? When we click on it, the search criteria are entered in the search box(es), no results are given, the user can add/change criteria and then hit the search button.

I'm digging all over internet but most of my google queries are ending with google history page.

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If its more of a search page then you can try showing the recent searches in the search bar itself. Something that most browsers are providing. Consider the following example of firefox.

This is how I would suggest

This will show the recent searches as and when the user attempts to search for something, which would actually make the suggestions useful. This can also help you to filter and bring out the relevant searches based on the character input from the user.

You can also have the freedom to customize it to most frequent searches along with recent ones. Moreover this will help you save a major share of the screen estate which you would use for displaying the recent searches. Since you say that its not a search history page I believe that saving screen estate from recent searches can be of essence.


In a Swedish real estate collection site called Booli, this exact functionality is implemented. Upon searching with different criteria, you get the last three searches specified with specific choices:

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When you do a search, you can adjust the search using the button “Förfina” which translates to refine in English.

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Hitting the refine button brings up all search criteria again. A very nice implementation on a complex problem.

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  • I've updated question with images for clear idea. My basic question was with recently searched items not with auto suggestions. BTW thanks for response! – Hemchandra Mar 10 '14 at 16:28
  • @Hem thank you. The exemple shows how refinement works on a previous filtered question, and while they use auto suggestion as well, this isn't mentioned in my answer. If you visit the site, submit a query and push the refine button ("förfina" in swedish), you'll see the pattern. – Benny Skogberg Mar 10 '14 at 18:28

Most sites prefer a vertical layout as it allows you to scale in size and it can fit within a small column as shown below


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It also gives you flexibility in ensuring long text searches can either wrap to the next line or form a single line defining how much space is being used. The line breaks also serve as differentiators between the search history terms as the user scans down the list.

With horizontal search histories, while you can store more content in a single line, you are making it hard for him to quickly scan all the content as he has to scan the entire line and back. The proximity of search terms also makes it hard for him to differentiate content as he scans from left to right as there is no sharp differentiator like a line break

  • If you notice, in my draft I want user to select options before s/he search if they are interested. Showing long list of search history on search page will also ruin the page purpose and it would be extra load on user and page. – Hemchandra Mar 11 '14 at 4:16

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