Lightning Search

Search in Lightning empowers customers to quickly find the records and apps they need to get work done in Salesforce.

Salesforce Safe Harbor Statement


Salesforce is a Platform that companies build upon and customize to meet their unique needs. Search is a central piece of the product experience which allows customers to quickly find the records they need to get work done. When we launched the new Lightning experience, we wanted to make Search more intuitive, more efficient and more helpful. Through user research, data and cross-team collaboration, we delivered a solution that works for users across multiple industries.


My role as the Lead UX designer was to work with cross-team PMs, engineers, writers, designers and researchers to create a search framework that meets the needs of our customers. My responsibilities included delivering interaction and interface design, conducting user interviews and usability testing, running design studios, consulting other product teams on their search implementations and partnering with product management on feature prioritization and roadmap planning.

Use Cases

As a Sales user, I need to quickly find the Accounts, Opportunities and Contacts so that I can close more deals, nurture customer relationships and generate new business.

As a Service user, I need to find the right Knowledge Articles and Cases so that I can help customers solve issues and retain business.

Some of our goals when designing search were to make each step of the process clear, fast, and beautiful. When someone first focuses search we display their most recently used records. Users love this feature because our customers context switch constantly and this allows them to quickly access records that they may be been using earlier that day.

"Seeing my recent records helps me quickly get back to something I was just doing."

User Testing Participant

As the user types, we return instant results based on the user's term. To make the experience more personalized, we search for the things that matter most to you.

Top Results groups results by record type, and organizes results intelligently based on the query.

Top Results is really easy to scan. I like how everything is grouped together..."

User Testing Participant

For more control, users can narrow their scope of search to a single record-type. This is especially powerful for users that know exactly what they're looking for.

After selecting the option to narrow your search, a "pill" is added to the search input reflects the user's selection that can be cleared to return to a global state.

Some record types can be configured to pre-filter their search, which allows users that are looking for records that fall into specific categories. An example is a Service Agent looking for Knowledge Articles that only apply a particular product, and a specific version of the product.

Snippets and highlighting shows the user the matching keywords for their query, and gives it context by including the surrounding words. This allows us to refine a long article down to the most meaningful content to let customers make the right choices faster.

"I love that the word I searched is highlighted. It lets me know exactly why something was returned and where I should look."

User Testing Participant

Many service customers need support for searching federated data sources. Customers often use many different tools in their roles, and giving them access to all of their data in once place helps them close more deals and solve cases faster, making everyone happier.


Do you have an idea for a product or want to know more about anything in my portfolio? Get in touch with me using the form below or send an email to (brownie points for using PGP). Thanks for visiting!


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