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Feedback about the new search bar


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Hello,

I'm starting to get used to the simplicity of the new search bar, but there's one thing that bothers me, although it's not a problem.

Desktop users are having a bit of a hard time searching because they aren't paying attention when selecting the location of content.

Could contain: Text, Label, Baseball Bat, Team, Sport, Team Sport, Baseball, Sports, Softball
 

They end up not having a good search experience, due to a simple lack of attention. And it gets worse when your theme is dark.

Could contain: Text

Sometimes the user is looking for a video, but is in another app and ends up being filtered automatically.

Could contain: Text

 

How to solve this?

Make the menu appear automatically when clicking on search bar, as it was in past.

So the user will quickly know where to look for your content.

Edited by Hisashi
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18 minutes ago, Markus Jung said:

Or (and in my opinion even better) make it default to search everywhere.

There were complains about the previous default "Everywhere":

And I agree that the default setting should be limited to the current area the user is in.

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1 minute ago, Luuuk said:

And I agree that the default setting should be limited to the current area the user is in.

Today it is like it was on IP.Board 3. They changed to Everywhere on IPS4 or at some point after that.

If I'm on a topic or a forum and I search for a specific word, I hope to find results in that specific area (Forums app). Why would I want to see results from a blog entry, for example?

The way it is now is the expected behavior.

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Just now, Adriano Faria said:

If I'm on a topic or a forum and I search for a specific word, I hope to find results in that specific area (...) The way it is now is the expected behavior.

Exactly. I am very happy that after so long time the decision has been reverted!

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In general when users search they don't expect to be limited to where they are, in fact it can be counter productive.  Example. I search Everywhere and find what I want and go there, I then want to find something else and go to search and if it's not where I am currently located a negative search results, which could mean to the person searching for what they are looking for is not on the site; but it may be somewhere else where they're not searching.

I agree with the drop down appearing automatically when the search box is clicked, this then apprises the user that there are more options.  We all know that those options are there, but someone else (perhaps a majority of users not up to date with what IPS is pushing) may not know and give up and leave.

I mentioned this elsewhere when my home page is a Pages page and set as default (otherwise it would not be my homepage) which meant that when someone went to search for something they did not find it, because the search bar was searching in Pages; not good.  My only resolution was thanks to @Adriano Faria plugin that removes Pages from search was my search bar functioning again.  

It's fine for us because we 'know' but a lot of people, including visitors, will not know and it may not always appear obvious.  It could mean the difference between gaining a new member or losing them because they can't find what they're looking for.  It was a good idea, in principle, but not in practice.  I would say at least give Admins the option to choose how the search functions on their sites.

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Both search types (‘specific area’ or ‘everywhere’) are equally common. Whatever the default is, someone would complain that it can lead to problems. But I think the biggest issue isn’t the choice of the default type, it’s users not being sure what they get when they start the search. That would lead to frustration, when the results are too few or too high because the users doesn’t know where the search is being performed. But with the current implementation, it’s rather obvious. The area is shown next to the search term and the drop down has lost all its previous clutter and now only shows the active selection. So, I think this works as well as it could. 

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The most frustrating thing for myself with the new search bar is yet again mobile users who account for a large percentage of traffic are still left with no such options.

What would be nice is when tapping the magnifying glass, a search bar drops into view with the same options to search within this forum and topic.

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On 8/14/2022 at 12:05 PM, Davyc said:

I agree with the drop down appearing automatically when the search box is clicked, this then apprises the user that there are more options.  We all know that those options are there, but someone else (perhaps a majority of users not up to date with what IPS is pushing) may not know and give up and leave.

That's my point, we admins or regular users know how search works, but that's not the reality for all new users or for a visitor who is just passing through your website.

Users are used to simply writing what they want to search for and expecting some result.
 

On 8/14/2022 at 12:05 PM, Davyc said:

rwise it would not be my homepage) which meant that when someone went to search for something they did not find it, because the search bar was searching in Pages; not good.  My only resolution was thanks to @Adriano Faria plugin that removes Pages from search was my search bar functioning again.  

Awesome, is this available on Marketplace? In my view, I see no point in allowing users to find pages that I have not referenced them for them to click on.

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30 minutes ago, Hisashi said:

Awesome, is this available on Marketplace? In my view, I see no point in allowing users to find pages that I have not referenced them for them to click on.

Yes, it's in the marketplace and it's free.

 

31 minutes ago, Hisashi said:

That's my point, we admins or regular users know how search works, but that's not the reality for all new users or for a visitor who is just passing through your website.

My point exactly - when people see a search box they just type in what they're looking for and really don't pay attention to whatever filters have been automatically applied - too much hand holding going on.

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My only issue with the search box is that you look at it...it looks lovely...it entices you to type something in. So you think about what to type...what to search for...then you move your mouse, you type something, you hit return....and then you notice that the filter has appeared just after you moved your mouse into the field, and then you realised you have wasted a few seconds of time.

This before I hover:

Could contain: Text, Word, White Board

...is more informative than this:

Could contain: Text, Word

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12 hours ago, Davyc said:

My point exactly - when people see a search box they just type in what they're looking for and really don't pay attention to whatever filters have been automatically applied

I agree. People are used to Google or YouTube. They just type something in and expect to get relevant results.

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98% of using online communities is READING. You read the title before clicking it. You read the posts, because that’s what you are here for (or the Files titles and descriptions or whatever). The idea that people regularly and somehow mindlessly deal with a search bar without being able or willing to process anything that is part of the very box they are typing in, isn’t very realistic. I am not saying it can’t happen at all, but those people only have themselves to blame. Their lack of attention shouldn’t define the behaviour for everyone. 
Processing what is next to a search field is no different than processing what is next to the registration form fields. If one cannot do that, how are they even supposed to be community members. 

Edited by opentype
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1 hour ago, opentype said:

The idea that people regularly and somehow mindlessly deal with a search bar without being able or willing to process anything that is part of the very box they are typing in, isn’t very realistic.

It may not be realistic but that's what they do.  We have to remember that these are ordinary people who are 'used' to just typing in what they are looking for.  As @Markus Jung noted people are used to Google and YT, WP and SM etc, and just type and click/tap.  Attention spans are generally at a low eb for regular use items and to 'expect' people to notice is as unrealistic as expecting that they do notice.  We have to put ourselves in the same shoes as users, not admins and not experts at using the system.  A search bar implies you can search the site - if you want to drill down then we need to educate users that they can drill down, if they want.

An example that I have come across many, many times with people I know (including clients) is with Google search.  Not one of them knew that by clicking on 'tools' that they can have more options to drill down further depending on what they are searching for.

Could contain: Logo, Trademark, Symbol, Word, Text

My point being that 'expecting' people to notice this (when it has never been that way before) is expecting too much.  Over time users who visit regularly may notice and get used to it, but the casual passer-by will probably not, and that can cost you a member.  Search 'Everywhere' should be the starting point and then let a user know that there are other options available by making them more noticeable (push it to them).

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1 hour ago, Davyc said:

We have to put ourselves in the same shoes as users, not admins and not experts at using the system. 

Who says I am not doing that? My argument was about ‘reading’ in general, which has little to do with the user’s experience. 

 

1 hour ago, Davyc said:

and that can cost you a member. 

You can easily just claim that and the next person claims the opposite, since it is all just fictional examples without data behind them. If I am on the Files index page (e.g. on the Marketplace here) and want to look for an app, I just type something in, search and I get file downloads as I will probably expect. But with “Everywhere” as a default, I might get thousands of forum posts, which just happen to include a word from the search phrase, especially with Elasticsearch which picks up almost everything. Those are likely not the expected results and will leave the user overwhelmed and frustrated and could “cost you a member”. Same thing. These fictional examples don’t favour one solution over another. That’s why I said in my first post that there isn’t the one perfect solution. We don’t just have to put ourselves in the shoes of average users, we also have to consider all their potential searches. 

By the way: I could imagine a global search as default working very well *IF* the results page would offer a convincing way to narrow down the results dynamically, but at the moment it doesn’t do that and it won’t happen over night, so that option isn’t on the table when we just discuss the current search bar design. 
That’s also why the comparisons with Google services don’t do much for me. Google invests millions in guessing the context of a search query and ranking the results accordingly. That is why it works so well. It’s not because the search is so wide, it’s because Google usually guesses correctly what you are actually interested in and which results might be helpful to you. So, in a sense, the results we are dealing with are actually rather narrow instead of wide. But we don’t have that luxury with the IPS search. 

Edited by opentype
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1 hour ago, opentype said:

My argument was about ‘reading’ in general, which has little to do with the user’s experience. 

Which is why I used the Google search as an example - the tool is there but people don't look at it.  So the 'reading' in general argument you are using is based on your own opinion.  In the 'real world' people tend to have tunnel vision and only see what they want to see, not necessarily what's there; hence the example of the google search.  I wasn't attempting to say that Google search was better, simply pointing out that people don't see the tools available.

Once you start 'guessing' that a user will want to search anywhere but in general, then problems will arise.  I'm not saying that the new search is 'bad' but it is flawed by making assumptions on behalf of a user.  An example would be, if I search for something and a topic is flagged that I 'may' be interested in but isn't what I'm looking for, why in the world would I want to search that topic?  The system makes that assumption, and also assumes that the user is 'aware' that a filter has been applied.  Considering all of these factors when the user goes to search for something else, they would need to remove the filter that they may not be aware of.  Filters should be a user decision, not a system decision.  So, it would be of benefit to have those filters highlighted in an unmistakable manner so the user is aware of them.  Now this 'does' occur in mobile view and a drop down of filters is shown so the user is 'aware' of them.  

When I first updated to 4.7.1 and I went to search for a movie on my own site that I knew was there but didn't want to go on a hunt for amongst hundreds of others, I typed the name in the search box - zero results.  With some investigation I discovered that because my home page was a Pages page, the search 'assumed' I wanted to search Pages.  I had to download a plugin to remove Pages from the search to make sure that my visitors were able to search my entire site and not something the system assumed I wanted to search.  Would they actually have known what Pages was if they did see it in the search bar?  Would they understand that this was a filter, or something that the way the search bar was designed? 

The best way out of this situation is to allow admins to default the search to 'Everywhere' until a user decides to apply a filter.  If others want to use the new method then that option should be there too.  It would save a lot of pointless debates about theories and opinions that may or may not be valid 🙂

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

One additional follow up comment on this after using it for a couple weeks. 

I hate it and it makes no sense to me. When people in my community search for something, they couldn't care less which part of the site it comes from. they want information about the topic of the search. Plus, they have no clue that my platform, IPS, has different sections titled Pages, Topics, etc...

We need the ability to tailor this search bar to our own needs. 

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I have marked agree on most of the pushback replies above.  As an administrator who knows his way around this 4.7.2 version, at least in a general sense, I find myself continuously using Google search for marketplace items or help topics about different aspects of IPS 4.7.2.  If I use the search bar provided, more often than not I don't get any useful results.  

Here is a specific example: as I prepare for my upgrade to 4.7 from 3.3.4, I wonder if I can add or change the like button choices, currently offering agree-like-haha-meow-thanks.  Some of you know the exact term for that button but I don't - at least not yet.  If I search 'change like button,' I don't get anything useful.  My reaction? Try different search phrases on Google. It will be faster and more efficient.

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1 hour ago, Chris027 said:

I hate it and it makes no sense to me. When people in my community search for something, they couldn't care less which part of the site it comes from. they want information about the topic of the search. Plus, they have no clue that my platform, IPS, has different sections titled Pages, Topics, etc...

We need the ability to tailor this search bar to our own needs. 

I totally agree with this, other clients have the same concern as well...

I developed a little plugin to overcome this by allowing admins to select the default search area, not sure if IPS will approve it or not (Now awaiting MP approval).

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9 hours ago, A Zayed said:

I developed a little plugin to overcome this by allowing admins to select the default search area, not sure if IPS will approve it or not (Now awaiting MP approval).

Thanks. It‘s my most important reason to wait with upgrade to 4.7. I thought IPS will see that such an option is needed.

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