New Web Search Tool is Live!Jan 20, 2022
The OIT Web Services and Web Development & Operations teams are excited to announce the successful implementation of a new enterprise-level web search solution that was released on January 14, 2022. The new tool delivers features that improve the university website experience for all staff, faculty, and students.
This solution, utilizing Azure Cognitive Search, provides an improved back-end and front-end site search experience for web site visitors. In this first iteration, Sitefinity content is indexed to present search results in a relevant, intuitive manner. Following is an overview of what the experience will look like for those looking for content on university webpages as well as changes to the back-end for school and department web professionals.
Overview of what the front-end / user-experience will be:
- There will be no major user experience (UX) or user interface (UI) changes.
- Visitors to department, college, and school webpages will:
- Search by clicking on the search icon and typing in their search term.
- After pressing enter, they will be sent to a page that lists all of the relevant search results. By default, the search results will be rendered at a global level (across all indexed domains) and will be shown by relevance.
- Be able to narrow down their search results using filters (sidebar on desktop, top bar on mobile web).
Overview of changes to the back-end for school and department web professionals:
- New and improved search algorithm to better yield relevant search results.
- Built on Azure Cognitive Search, replacing former solution, SearchBlox.
- New technology will allow for flexibility and customizations in future iterations and development efforts.
- Priority features for inclusion in next iterations:
- Content indexed will include not only Sitefinity pages, but also documents.
- Indexing of external domains, relevant domains, such as clas.ucdenver.edu, business.ucdenver.edu, online.cu.edu, and cu.edu.
This is a project that has been underway for several months, so we are so thrilled to see it coming to fruition. We hope faculty, staff, and students are as excited about this new solution as we are!