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Lightning Search

Global search adapts to our user's behavior to help them find the information that's most relevant for them.


Principal UX Designer


UX Design, UI Design, Moderated Usability Testing, Design System Documentation


16 Teams, 4 Product Managers, 200 Engineers, 1 Designer, 1 User Researchers, 1 Doc Writer


Global search adapts to how you use Salesforce and enables users to search for the information that matters most to them. Narrow your search to a single object before searching, use instant results to search relevant records quickly, or get a set of results for your query from inside of Salesforce and from external data sources.



Recent Browsing History

When search is focused, the user finds records and apps from their recent browsing history. Recent items are selected about a quarter of the time when the user searches.


Instant Results

When a user is looking for a record outside of their recent history, instant results from the entities they use most frequently are returned from the server, making results deflection increase to about half of searches.


Top Results

Customers can have up to 2,000 entities that are searchable. To optimize for the most relevant results, we focus on the user's most frequently used record types and present them in an intelligent order. When you search for "Elaine," you'll see people at the top of your results, and when you search for "Vandelay Industries," you'll find companies.


Search Filters

When you narrow your results down to a single entity, filters display that allows the user to refine their results based on the metadata that the org's admin configured for that search layout.


Snippets & Highlighting

Structured data tends to be easier to browse using a table, but unstructured data has more flexibility to be differentiated. We use snippets of the article and highlighting to display the most relevant information in a concise layout and allow users to vote on the quality of an article, which lets colleagues help each other by providing valuable feedback about the result.


Feedback & Guidance

If the user scrolls to the end of their most relevant results, a message is displayed explaining that we've searched the entities that they use most frequently, and other things they can do to find the correct result.


Empty Results

No results aren't always a bad thing - it can be a signal to create a new opportunity, draft a new article, or create a record for your unique point of contact at an account. Using illustration and helpful tips help to make the experience more fun and enjoyable.


Placeholder Text

Placeholder text is contextual and gives the users hints about how to use search most effectively. It can be used for Community branding, new feature discovery and to educate a user about what they can search. For example, when an Admin is using Setup, the placeholder text reads "Search Setup," or, when a user is on a feed or list of information, the placeholder reads "Search this list...".



Process & Collaboration

Product Requirements

Throughout releases, I work with my product management and engineering teams to create product requirements that support our user's goals.


Problem Statement

Efficiency and productivity are the most critical factors for our customers, and search is a crucial tool that users turn to so they can find information and take action quickly. Users need different kinds of records across job roles, and problems users face are similarly named records, duplicate data, misspelled queries, using multiple data repositories, and needing enough information to disambiguate results.


Search Principles

Understand my context, who I am, and what's relevant to how I work. Predict the information I need and help me search less while still finding everything I need to be successful.
Allow me to work quickly and find information in an experience optimized for my workflow. Reduce the time to complete tasks in a clear and friendly UI.
Allow me to do more. Let me stay in a single environment and find the results that I need from any data source in a seamless federated experience.

Personas & Use Cases


Sales Cloud Deal Closer


Logging calls, email, and notes. Entering new Leads & Opportunities, updating existing Accounts, Opportunities & Contacts.

Salesforce Strengths

Staying organized, ease of use

Working Style

With customers ~60%, Remote ~40%

As a Deal Closer, I need to quickly find my Accounts, Contacts, Files and Opportunities, so that I can prep for meetings, update records and log calls, email and notes.

Learn more about Sales Cloud personas on Trailhead.


Service Cloud Case Solver


Troubleshooting customer issues, updating existing customer records, logging activities

Education Level

~65% college degree or some college, 22% graduate degree or some graduate school

Work Experience

42% 10+ years, 21% 6-10 years, 21% 3-5 years, 16% 0-2 years

As a Case Solver, I need to find Cases, Articles and Files so that I can provide direct support to customers and solve escalated Cases.

Learn more about Service Cloud personas on Trailhead.

Design Workshops

When solving problems we get together to collaboratively explore different design solutions.



We've conducted many kinds of research through the years, from moderated usability testing to cafe research. We've done participatory design exercises with customers, design studios with internal teams, and site visits to observe customers using our software in their workplaces. We use data to learn about what users are doing, and conduct interviews to determine why they're doing it.