Each week, our Vice President of Product shares an email with the company that’s filled with the background story on why Brightspot’s features are the way they are. It’s not just how Brightspot works but why its features were engineered the way they were. Not one to keep secrets, we’re sharing her insights with you here, in a weekly column called “The Whys.” From creating vanity URLs to knowing the difference between a document and an attachment, these posts answer the questions anyone who publishes digital content has likely pondered.
I don't know why it’s taken me so long to write about Search—it’s one of my favorite things about Brightspot—but here we are!
I'm going to approach the topic of Search the same way that I always demo Search, from the left to the right: 1) filters, 2) results and 3) actions. This post covers filters, but be on the lookout for subsequent posts addressing the remaining two Search topics.
A colleague recently said, "If you can use Google, you can use Brightspot." That assessment is spot-on because if you’re looking for something in Brightspot, all you need to do is search. Search by keywords like “innovation” or “Meredith Rodkey,” and you’ll get back matching results (assuming matching results exist, of course).
Brightspot Search Part 1: Filters
But the capabilities run much deeper than that. Let's say you're looking for "innovation," and you know you're specifically looking for an article or a photo gallery, you can further refine by those content types.
Let's next say you've filtered by Article. Once you select a content type, the filters you see are going to change. Now you can filter by any metadata attribute on the Article content type that’s been indexed; for example, if you’re looking for an Article by a specific Author or with a specific Tag, you can add those filters.
The other thing you can do with filters is what we call an "is missing" search. Let's say you were looking at Article, you could check the "is missing" box in Search (next to Tags) to see only "articles that are missing tags." This is helpful for customers who want to make sure all of their content has tags, has sections, has authors, etc. It's a nice way to make sure all the boxes are checked.
Last but not least, let's talk about some of the other Global filters (the ones you’ll see on every content type):
- Publish Date: This is what it sounds like. These filters help you narrow down search results between a Publish Date and an End Date.
- "Status" Filter (sometimes I also call it the Visibility filter): This allows you to see content by status, or to control the visibility of content in Search. By default, Search shows content that is Published (or "live"). If you open it, you should see a variety of Statuses (any that exist in a published Workflow)—things like Draft, Archived, Submitted, Revision, etc. This is how you find content that isn't visible by default. The No. 1 use case for this is finding content that's been archived; No. 2 is finding content that’s in workflow.
- Advanced Query Builder: This allows you to construct more elaborate queries: matching with ANDs and ORs and Comparisons and Match Anys, by content type, by field, etc.
Below the filters in Search, you'll see something called "Recent Searches," which is precisely what it sounds like. By opening the Recent Searches area, you can see your five most recent searches, and clicking on them will direct you back to that set of search results. That means that if you had selected five filters and constructed something very granular, you didn't lose it!
So, why did we add Recent Searches? To save users time.
I think of Saved Searches as a natural evolution of Recent Searches. Take that example I used above: You've created a search with five filters, it took you a while to construct, and you'd like to come back to it. Anytime you've input a search, in the "Actions" panel (that's part 3) you'll see a button labeled "Save Search." Click that, and your search will be permanently saved. With just one click, you can return to it whenever you want.
So, why did we add Saved Searches? You guessed it: to save users time.
One other thing worth mentioning in Search is the Create New area, which allows you to create something from scratch. Let’s say you filtered by Article, you searched, and maybe you didn't find what you were looking for. Create New will be populated with Article, so you can fill the gap you just discovered.
On Recent and Saved Searches, I should also mention that those UI areas are collapsible, so if you have no interest in ever using them, you can close them, and they'll remain closed until you open them again. (And you will, because someday, sometime, you will need your Recent Searches.)
See Brightspot CMS Search in action: