I am trying to create an incremental search in my website where each searched term is added to the previous searched terms. I found that using a single search input for that confuses users. They expect that each search resets the searched terms instead of adding them to a list.

My search: Game Discovery search

I found that Google Trends does the same thing I want to do, but using two search inputs. One big general search input that resets the searched terms and one small "Add Term" field. I like this approach more than the one I am doing.

Google search: Google Trends search

Since Google Trends is the only site I know that is using this approach, is this the best way to perform an incremental search or there are other ways? Are there any other examples of searches like this?

  • Single search input don't confuse users, they are the most intuitive and straight forward. Ex google search.
    – Andy
    Commented May 16, 2016 at 4:37
  • @Andy What causes confusion is not the search input itself, but the fact that the searched term is added to the previous searched terms instead of being a new entire search. For example, I searched first "Open World" and then I search for "RPG". Commented May 16, 2016 at 4:40
  • Stack Overflow's new tabbed interface does the same thing (when searching for tags) and it's much more clear than Google's design. Commented May 16, 2016 at 9:32

1 Answer 1


Most sites don't work as you propose, because it would be confusing. Users expect a keyword in the search bar to start a new search, as you note.

Google Trends is providing an interface that allows multiple different searches to be entered and compared. This justifies the more complicated design. It wouldn't really make sense as a design for incrementally narrowing a search.

I think you should go with the typical design:

  • Have a single search box that behaves normally. Entering a new search will override previous keywords.
  • The current search keywords should persist in the box after you display results. That makes it easy for the user to narrow the search, simply by adding another keyword to the box and searching again.

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