How I search for patterns in VIM just improved a bit today. Generally I’d search like so:

/some_pattern<CR>

Hitting <CR> exits search mode, and refining the search requires one to enter search mode using / followed by the up arrow allowing refinements to the search.

Today I learned about <C-g> and <C-t> which will jump to the next occurrence of the current pattern while focus is still in the search box. This can allow for a search workflow that allows one to jump through search hits and refine the search more efficiently.

For more helpful tips see :help incsearch.