In-app search for SaaS product

Improving search experience in the brand management platform with 50 000 MAU

This project showcases an in-app search feature for a brand management platform that enables businesses to create, manage, and streamline their brand assets and guidelines in one central location.

︎ Full version of this project (password protected)

My role
As the lead designer on the project, I worked closely with the tech lead, product manager, user research team, engineers, and other stakeholders to enhance the overall user experience and drive increased product adoption. Our collaborative efforts aimed to ensure the successful implementation of the in-app search feature.

New in-app search

Defining the problem

The product features two distinct search functions: one for text content (Guidelines) and another for assets like images and videos (referred to as Libraries or Assets). Customers frequently request merging these two searches due to end-users repeatedly mistaking one for the other, leading to frustration and lower adoption rates.

Main goals
  1. Provide the results from the entire brand portal in one place.
  2. Improve the presentation of results to facilitate quick and easy identification of the right item.
  3. Include suggestions to enhance the search experience. Improve error prevention and recovery from errors (zero results state). Support keyboard shortcuts.

Validating and iterating

Early explorations
Some of the early explorations covered two main directions: spotlight search and full screen search:

“Spotlight” search solution
We selected the “spotlight” search (search in a dialog) concept as the direction to design and validate further.
First search concepts were based on scoped search approach:

Validating the solution via user testing

It's essential to validate our hypotheses at an early stage. The iterative process identifies and addresses potential issues upfront, enhancing the user experience and contributing to an efficient development cycle.

First version of the search was released to beta testers, and we proceeded to improve overall experience and result discoverability.

Refining and launching

For novice users, knowing where to search for specific content can be challenging, potentially leading to frustration with tab navigation. To address this, we've enabled users to find any type of content, whether it's in the guidelines or libraries where assets are located. 

All the most relevant results are consolidated into a single view, regardless of the type of content, ensuring a seamless search experience. This approach also facilitates easy transition to a more detailed exploration of specific search results types.

Enhanced UX for the in-app search:

No results and empty states:

In-app search prepared to be released to the end-users:


The demonstrated version of the in-app search has been selected for the public release, serving hundreds of customers and thousands of users worldwide.

The improvements are gathering exceptional feedback. The ongoing commitment to discovery and solution exploration reflects our dedication to refining and optimizing the user experience, ensuring that the product aligns seamlessly with the evolving needs and preferences of our audience.

© Anna Lukyanchenko 2024 — all rights reserved