February 20, 2019
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The Search Box widget finds a home in almost every digital workplace, and makes a powerful but unobtrusive addition to the top or sidebar of any Page or Space. Members can search from anywhere using the search option in the userbar, but the filters available from the Search Box widget let you refine results to ensure that the ones returned are relevant to the area they're in at the moment. A well-configured Search Box widget ensures that everyone in an area can always find what they're looking for, regardless of the size and complexity of your digital workplace.
In most sites, the widget rests in the sidebar of every Space, and keeping it in a consistent place definitely streamlines your Space design and ensures that members know precisely where to look to...well, look for things. The configurability of the Search Box widget is where it shines, however. It can easily be set up to search within Spaces or projects, or even other areas of your digital workplace, letting it unify knowledge bases or offer an easy search of all submitted questions or articles only.
One of the most common questions about the Search Box widget is what it means to have it search the "Current Page". This setting restricts searches from the widget to all Pages and Channels nested directly under the item in your site structure. This makes it invaluable for cover Pages, which hold a number of Spaces underneath them, or for restricting searches to a set of Channels beneath the Page. You can find an example of the widget being used this way in our Knowledge Base, where it combines several wikis to let people find answers, but doesn't include the Training or Playbook area.
The widget can also restrict results by a specific Space, letting you place it in other areas and search that Space, in order to easily search within a team Space or active project, for example. We've also seen it used to create sets of Search widgets on a Page so people can easily search for the resources they need from a specific area, without the site structure restrictions of searching under the current page. Your digital workplace stays organized the way it needs to be, but the searchability of your content isn't affected.
Speaking of content, the Search Box widgets includes a content filter that can help you return specific results directly from the widget, without needing to add additional filters after the fact. This works in concert with the search restriction to let you build a widget that returns only knowledge base articles under the item for example, or that searches a specific Space for news or files. At the end of the day, the goal is to make sure that the results people find are always what they're looking for, to save them time and work.
Like everything else in your digital workplace, the Search Box widget is restricted by your members' access. It will only ever return results that they have access to, no matter what. Combined with the filtering settings, this means that you can use the widget to power very specific searches whose results are customized by member access. This comes up a lot in HR Spaces, where members will tend to have varying levels of access based on their needs for specific policies, reporting levels, and training.
The Search Box widget can be a powerful tool to build engagement and usability in your digital workplace. Members want to search for things, and as an Administrator you can use the widget to help them find it easily and quickly, connecting people to processes and information.
If you have questions about the Igloo platform, workflows, or best practices, you can leave a comment here, or ask a question in the Community area.