Note: How to build a typeahead

Mar 21, 2023

Ask any former Meta employee what they miss most about working there, and they will likely say Workplace, the internal version of Facebook oriented for work. One of my favorite internal notes from Workplace was Tom Occhino’s note on how to write typeaheads. In it he writes a detailed, and principled description of exactly how a typeahead should behave and why. If you’ve ever been frustrated using a typeahead, it’s probably because the implementor missed one or more of his principles.

I often wished I could share this note with folks outside of Meta. Well, today I learned that Tomo has been working on a typeahead library, and has reproduced that note in the readme. Whether or not you consider using his library I would consider the readme to be essential reading for any UI engineer.