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SharePoint Search – Configuring the User Experience. Steve Peschka Sr. Principal Architect Microsoft Corporation. Search UI Configuration. Result Types Display Templates Search Navigation Search Refinement Query Suggestions Thumbnail Previews Search Portability

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sharepoint search configuring the user experience
SharePoint Search – Configuring the User Experience

Steve Peschka

Sr. Principal Architect

Microsoft Corporation

search ui configuration
Search UI Configuration
  • Result Types
    • Display Templates
  • Search Navigation
  • Search Refinement
  • Query Suggestions
  • Thumbnail Previews
  • Search Portability
  • Site Level Search Admin Summary
result types
Result Types
  • SharePoint 2013 includes a new framework for presenting search results to end users called result types
  • Result types have several elements that enable each type to be rendered differently:
result type rules
Result Type Rules
  • You can create a variety of different rules on which to match:
    • Equality(= or !=), comparison (< or >), or logical (AND or ORor NOT)
    • You can have multiple rules as a condition
    • You can use managed properties in a rule
result type management
Result Type Management
  • Result types are managed as follows:
    • Result Types can apply to an entire search service application or to a specific site or web
    • OOB Result Types are immutable but can be overridden with a copy
    • There is an inheritance hierarchy to result types in a site: the current web, plus the site collection root, plus the Search Service Application.
      • So if you adda new result type to some random web, the sub webs under it won’t inherit that type unless you are working in the site collection root web
display templates
Display Templates
  • Display templates contain the following characteristics:
    • They define the visual layout of a Result Type
    • A template is really just HTML
    • You can edit it with ANY HTML designer you want – Dreamweaver, SharePoint Designer, Visual Studio, Notepad – doesn’t matter
    • You add placeholders to your HTML file where managed properties should be emitted
    • It gives you a real WYSIWIG experience when designing templates
  • A set of display templates is included OOB; you can find them in the Master Pages/Display Templates/Search folder
    • Site collection admins can upload new display templates
result type with display template example
Result Type with Display Template Example

Here’s an example of a custom result type and display template for .TXT file search results:


Result Types

search refinement
Search Refinement
  • There are two different modes for the refiner web part: search results and faceted navigation
    • With search results the refinement data works essentially the same as SharePoint 2010
    • With faceted navigation it uses a term from the term store to filter what kind of data should be displayed (explained on next slide)
  • Refinement is different with SharePoint 2013 in that you can define display templates to use for rendering different kinds of refinements
    • In SharePoint 2010 you had to write your own managed code custom refiner
faceted navigation with search refiners
Faceted Navigation with Search Refiners
  • With Faceted Navigation, refiners are used in conjunction with term sets that are used for navigation
  • With each term you select which managed properties should be used as refiners for that term
  • Those managed properties must be configured as “Refinable”
  • Example:
    • You have term store terms Camera and Laptop
    • You have managed properties Megapixel Count, Color and Manufacturer
    • For Camera term, you add refiners for Megapixel Count and Manufacturer
    • For Laptop term you add refiners for Color and Manufacturer
  • Another Example:
    • Department is the term store term, Customers and Projects could be refiners
query suggestions
Query Suggestions
  • Query suggestions take a big leap forward in usability. It improves on the experience in SharePoint 2010 as follows:
    • Your personal SharePoint activity factors into the query suggestions, i.e. you have a personal query log
    • It includes weighting based on sites that you have previously visited
    • It uses the most frequent queries across all users that “match” the search terms
  • The behavior of the query suggestions turns into more of a “browse and find” kind of experience
  • You can also add inclusion and exclusion lists for suggestions via the search service application admin pages
query suggestion types
Query Suggestion Types
  • There are two types of query suggestions – what you see when you are entering a query, and what you see when you get results
    • When entering a query you will see two types of suggestions:
      • A list of items you have clicked on before from your personal query log
      • A list of items that others are typing for their queries
    • When you get query results back, you will get another set of suggestions
      • They are a list of links that you have clicked through at least twice before and that match your search criteria
query suggestion examples
Query Suggestion Examples

Here are some examples of how query suggestions look:

  • Before the Query Suggestion
    • Above are items based on what other users have queried and found
    • Bottom 3 items are ones you clicked before
  • After the Query Suggestion
    • Top 3 items are ones you clicked before
thumbnail previews
Thumbnail Previews
  • The new Office Web Apps is the engine for thumbnail previews in SharePoint 2013
  • The BIG WIN HERE – you can now browse through the entire document in the preview
    • See all pages, see animations, zoom in, scroll through the entire document
    • The point of this is to allow users to find the exact item they’re looking for right in search results – no more clicking a result, hitting the back button, and on and on until they find the one they’re looking for
  • It also addresses the two major shortcomings of thumbnails in SharePoint 2010:
    • It could only be used with FAST Search
    • It did NOT work with claims authentication 
    • Since there’s only one search engine in SharePoint 2013 you get document previews out of the box
  • Previews only work with claims authentication – it will not work with classic Windows authentication
search portability
Search Portability
  • “Search Portability” supports transferring the following items:
    • results sources
    • query rules
    • result types
    • schema
    • custom ranking models
  • Transferring can happen between

a tenant, site collection or site

  • You “transfer” these items by using

the Import or Export Search Configuration option in Site Settings, or by using CSOM

summary new site search admin tasks
Summary: New Site Search Admin Tasks

Here are things site admins can do to manage search themselves:


© 2012 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Microsoft, Windows, Windows Vista and other product names are or may be registered trademarks and/or trademarks in the U.S. and/or other countries.

The information herein is for informational purposes only and represents the current view of Microsoft Corporation as of the date of this presentation. Because Microsoft must respond to changing market conditions, it should not be interpreted to be a commitment on the part of Microsoft, and Microsoft cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information provided after the date of this presentation. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS, IMPLIED OR STATUTORY, AS TO THE INFORMATION IN THIS PRESENTATION.