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Option To Set Default Search Scope


iancassel
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Our web site provides content for stock market investors and has a large quantity of topics. There are somewhere in the neighborhood of 600 topics on our site. Because of this our users frequently use the search function to find a particular topic. Also, most topics are only a page or two long.

Users of our site often have problems finding content via the search function because they aren’t aware of the search scope (e.g. “All Content”, “This Topic”, “This Forum”) and have it set incorrectly. We often receive reports that the search function is broken and then must educate the user on how to use the scope. In fact, we have even created a FAQ item on our web site about this issue.

Invision Software defaults the search scope to the current scope. For example, if a user is in a topic it defaults the search scope to “This Topic”. This confuses nearly all of the users as most people expect the search function to search the whole site (“All Content”). This is probably especially true on a site like ours that has a lot of topics rather than a site that has few topics but volumes of information on those topics.

What we suggest is that there should be an option to default the scope of the search function. We would want the scope to always default to “All content” no matter where you are on the site. It is rare that a user would want to search within a topic because most of our topics are relatively short. Other sites might prefer the current operation of the search scope. So, maybe the two states of the proposed Default Search Scope Option could be “Search all content by default” and “Search the current context by default”. The initial setting could be the later option so that the operation for existing websites is unchanged unless changed by the website operator.

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