The Searcher’s Guide to Workplace Search

With all these useful collaboration applications and services generating data, it’s a challenge to keep things organized. You have important files and pressing issues scattered all over the place. Workplace Search helps you find them, organize them, and take action on them.

This is the Searcher’s Guide: it is designed to help you use all the tools at your disposal for efficient information hunting across all available content sources. It focuses on the web-based search experience provided with Workplace Search, but your organization may provide a different search integration. In any case, most principles here should apply.

It’s Enterprise Search. Full control over search. The UI is sleek, yet helpful. Robust, yet not overwhelming. It is visually delightful.
Figure 86. Workplace Search: The Web-Based Search Experience

Speaking Your Language

You have met many search bars. Google has one, as does Bing, Yahoo – and most popular websites and applications. This one is like those, but with one key difference: it doesn’t search one thing – it searches many different things: your things.

It’s one search bar for your everyday work life. And it understands your natural language.

You don’t need to type strange incantations. You can phrase your search as if you were speaking to another person:

  • "monthly accounting report in Google Drive".
  • "bugs assigned to John in GitHub with status blocked."
  • "team sync in Dropbox updated Yesterday"

When you hit on a key phrase, the text will turn blue and the parameters of your search will be toggled and filtered against automatically.

A list of all the available content sources. Custom API has a blue sphere.
Figure 87. Searching naturally

Some of the more common key phrases include…

Goal Phrase

Find a Person

creator is, created by, edited by, modified by, from, shared by, edit by, updated by, modified by, assigned to

Find a Source

in, in source, on

Find a Date

from, yesterday, last week, last month, recent, recently

Find a File Type

pdf, spreadsheet, document, issue, presentation, rtf, ppt, xls, html, json, mov

Find a Status

open, closed, done, to do, backlog, in progress, blocked, pending, in review

Try out some example searches on your own!

Your Window into Work

The main dashboard shows you what’s new and the content sources through which you can search. Recently updated content or files will appear under Recent Activity.

Upon a succesful query, you can manually supplement keyword-based searches by setting the time and relevancy. Unless you specify a time frame using natural language, the default is All Time.

Click the clock to set your own custom time frame:

It’s the search UI. A search for product is present, and there are some results. The time dropdown is invoked and you can select yesterday, last week, last month, or a custom frame.
Figure 88. Choosing a timeframe for a query

Click Relevance to change between search modes. You can sort by Relevance or Recently Updated:

The Relevance dropdown menu next to the searchbar. The Recently Updated option is invoked and the results have shifted accordingly with the most recent at the top.
Figure 89. Relevance or Recently Updated

After a query has been performed, you can toggle filters on and off. This means you can add or remove sources from the search, change the content type, item status, and more:

A long list of facets. It uses GitHub as an example. Shows
Figure 90. Filtering with Workplace Search

Each time you add a filter, your results will reflect your choices. Use filters to narrow down searches as much as you’d like. Note that each filter value can be included in a natural query.

So you could write: "open fancy project pull requests" as a query. The filters would then be applied automatically. With these tricks, you’ll be able to keep narrowing things down to find just what you’re seeking.

Adding Private Sources

The ability to add Private Sources must be enabled and configured by an organization administrator.

Your administrator has added a number of sources through which you can search at the organization level, but you may also add your own. Each individual can add their own Private Sources. You might add your own private GitHub source or private Google Drive, for example. When you add a private source, its content will only be available to you. That way, you can supplement your organization’s information with your own things.

Click My Account in the top right corner, and select Content sources.

A tab with the aforementioned words.
Figure 91. Private content sources tab

You’ll notice you don’t have any private sources yet – no problem. Click Add a private content source: from there, you’ll be able to add any content source that your administrator has configured.

A list of content sources with their brand logos which you can add. There’s an octocat, a box, all sorts of neat things.
Figure 92. Add a private content source