Rebuilding Search on the Cooper Hewitt’s Collections Website

Sam Brenner, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, USA

Published paper: Reconsidering searching and browsing on the Cooper Hewitt’s Collections website

Recently at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, we completed an overhaul of the website's search functionality that allows us to take broad, open queries and return meaningful results. These changes include a migration from Solr to Elasticsearch as the back-end provider, the incorporation of non-objects into the search index, and a redesign of the front-end to expose sorting and faceting functionality to the user. In our paper, we discuss the experimentation and reasoning that led to our decision to begin the rebuilding, the implementation of the changes in our site framework, and the resulting speed and accuracy improvements.

"Designing Usable Search Interfaces: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly," Whitney Quesenbery,
"Search and Deploy: Solving the Silo Problem with XML Document Databases," Ryan Donahue,

(more references to come)