Over the last few months, I've been gradually enhancing the search pages. I think Rebrickable's search features were already the most powerful and easy to use you can find, but the new system is far easier to use on mobiles and for casual LEGO users who aren't as familiar with the catalog as most AFOLs.
Summary of the changes made:
- New menu-bar generic search is much faster by only showing the top results of each type (MOC/Set/Part) with no additional filtering capabilities. Follow the links to the new Find pages if you didn't find what you were looking for.
- Find page search results can be exported.
- Filtering existing searches is much faster with asynchronous loading of only the relevant details.
- Simpler layout for use on mobiles.
- Horizontal forms at the top of the page make it easier to use the sliders for years/number of parts, etc.
- Drill downs are off by default, but when you enable them it will remember your preference. This gives more screen space to actual results now that the forms are horizontally at the top of the page.
- Simpler search forms, while still providing advanced options for power users.
- New search option to find sets based on the parts in their inventories.
- Better ability to just browse through Sets/Parts/MOCs to discover things rather than looking for anything specific, e.g. 2019 Star Wars sets can be found at /sets/2019/star wars/.
- New search setting to highlight parts you own in search results (defaults to off as it has a small performance overhead).
Menu Bar Search
The auto-suggested results from the search box in the menu bar (or drop down search for small screens) is quite a bit smarter than it used to be. You can also filter these suggestions via the dropdown next to it.
If you leave the dropdown at it's default 'All LEGO' and run the search it will take you to a high level overview of search results page (I've trimmed some results to more easily show this in an image):
The default Find Sets page lets you quickly browse by recent years, or popular themes. Or just enter a generic search query into the main form.
You can click the 'Show Advanced Options' link to change the form to one with more features:
There are a few additional options now - Include B-Models, Include Sub-Sets, and a way to look for LEGO sets that contain a specific list of parts.
The default Find Parts page has tiles to let you quickly browse specific part categories. Which tiles are displayed can be controlled via the 'Filter Category Tiles' links.
The more advanced options have not changed, but are:
There is a new setting in your Account > Settings > Inventories page that you can turn on to highlight parts you own in the search results. I've left it off by default though as it can slow down the search results if you have a very large LEGO collection.
A simple search box is now located at the top of the MOCs page, also with an advanced form expandable via the 'Show Advanced Options' link. The old Hottest/Newest etc tabs are still displayed to help discover MOCs of interest.
New here is the ability to only show Free MOCs.
Rebrickable keeps track of the recent search queries (anonymised) to help me understand how the site is being used. For example, the last week of search queries:
|Search for All LEGO||62,000|
|Search for MOCs||60,000|
|Search for Parts||17,000|
|Search for Sets||10,000|
The most searched for queries are:
- MOCs: Star Wars, Truck, Technic, Train, Modular
- Sets: Star Wars, Ninjago, Train, Truck, Fire, Castle
- Parts: Technic, Bionicle, Door, Slope, 2x2, Window, Tile
- All: Star Wars, 42099, 42078, Porsche, 31058, 42093
So most of the Set/MOC search terms are theme based, while the part queries start to resemble part categories (door, slope, window, wedge, etc). Interestingly, when no specific search type is selected the searches tend to be targeted at known set numbers.
It's worth noting that the 'Star Wars' searches for MOCs occur about 5x more often than the next most common search term!