Inside Brightspot: The power of search filters

Every so often, our Vice President of Product shares an email with the company that tells the background story on why Brightspot’s features are the way they are. Not one to keep secrets, we’re sharing her insights with you here, in a series called “Inside Brightspot.” From creating users and permissions to knowing the difference between different dashboard widgets, this series will answer the questions anyone who publishes digital content has likely pondered.

For anyone experiencing Brightspot for the first time, its powerful search capabilities can be a revelation. To start, it is driven by keyword search, which is a familiar action in our lives thanks to Google (who isn't familiar with turning to Google to find something?!). Combine that familiarity and ease with powerful filtering capabilities, the ability to save frequent searches, and simple actions, it quickly becomes a favorite feature.

Let's talk in detail about the capabilities that await in Brightspot search. When we talk about search in Brightspot, we generally approach it as three key components—the search filters, which we will cover in detail here, the search results pane, and the search actions.

Brightspot's Search Filtering Capabilities

To start, let's imagine that a user is looking for a term such as "transformation." A user can quickly search for that term and get back results. Next, if the user is confident that they are looking for an Article, a content type filter can be applied to further limit the results to only articles.

Once the user has restricted the search by a content type, the additional filters will change to include common metadata attributes on Article, such as Author, Section, and Tag. If a user knows the Article they're looking for about technology was written by a specific Author, they can further refine the search results.

Filtering a search by content type

Another available filter per metadata attribute is "missing" — seems a little strange, but for teams who have ever wondered "how many of our articles don't have tags?" this is a helpful trick.

Other globally available filters in search are Publish Date, which allows a user to limit the search results displayed to a specific date range. The Status filter allows a users to locate content that is in a specific state, such as within a workflow or archived. Brightspot also supports an advanced query builder, which allows users to construct more elaborate queries matching with ANDs and ORs and Comparisons and Match Anys, by content type, by field, etc.

Recent Search and Saved Searches

In addition to the filtering capabilities, Brightspot also includes the ability to quickly access Recent Searches. Inside this widget, users can access their five most recent searches to quickly reopen those queries. This is a helpful fail-safe for when users have constructed an elaborate query and perhaps forgotten to save it.

Which leads us to Saved Searches. These allow users to take a search, be it simple or elaborate, and save it for quick access again and again.

Take a user who frequently checks what Articles within a certain Section are currently in Workflow — those are three unique filters, and a create candidate for a Saved Search. With just one click and a name for that search, the user can return to that search anytime.

How to save a search

The driving idea behind both Recent and Saved Searches is simply to save Brightspot users time, giving them access to helpful shortcuts that can make repeated tasks easier to tackle.

Can't Find It? Make a New One

The other available option within the search results area is the Create New area. Its inclusion here is again designed to be a time-saving shortcut. Say a user is searching for an Article on a specific topic, but isn't finding any results. The Create New option exists so that a user can quickly jump into authoring if the results set doesn't include what they need.

It's worth mentioning as well that Create New will work in tandem with the selected content type search filter, so if a user is filtering by, say, Section, the Create New option will allow the creation of a brand new Section, with no extra selection needed.

See Brightspot CMS Search in action:

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Inside Brightspot: Search overview playlist

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About the Author
Meredith Rodkey is VP of Platform Product Management & Solutions at Brightspot. She has focused on product management for nearly 10 years, contributing to major Brightspot engagements from U.S. News & World Report to Arizent and Healthgrades. In her previous life, Meredith worked as a homepage editor and writer for, curating a daily experience for millions of users.

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