Search should be more prominent

(T.J. Barbour) #1

The 1st time I used discourse, I wanted to search and I had to search for the search button.

I think the search functionality should be more prominent, though I understand the main source of search should be through google, but nevertheless, a good internal search is needed.

I would love to see a big beautiful inviting text box to type my text into, heck, it might fit right in the center of the top bar…


(Sam Saffron) #2

One thing I thought about was kidnapping ctrl-f and applekey-f , cause in browser search really does not serve us will with infinite scrolling and such.

(T.J. Barbour) #3

Hmm, my gut reaction is usually that I don’t like websites stealing my control in that way, but in this case (considering the infinite scroll) it may be OK. Maybe you could hook to SHIFT+CTRL+F or something to play it safe…

In any case, I still feel that would be more of a feature for advanced users (more keyboard focused)

It doesn’t fix the issue of the discoverability of search. Even labeling the icons at the top right would be an improvement.

BTW @sam congrats on the new venture! Hope you & @codinghorror bring the stackoverflow goodness to more of the internet!

(T.J. Barbour) #6

True, but can I change the ‘replyee’ after I’ve posted?

Thanx for that tip though!

(Jonathan Park) #7

I for one would not mind the search popping up on ctrl+f. However, it would need to replicate the standard search and highlight that is in most browsers these days.

You could add “current topic” results to the search results, and highlight within the page.

This would have the added benefit of extending page text searches to browsers that don’t have easily available text search like chrome on ipad.

Discoverability wise I find that the first and most important tool on any site is the search box. Usability wise it seems wasteful to make a user click to get it and not just have it available up front.

(Sam Saffron) #8

Yes, a context sensitive search is very very high on our list. When you are on a very long topic, results from the topic should show up first.

(Ted Lilley) #9

I’d respectfully disagree with the idea that in-browser search doesn’t serve simply because the amount of content on a page is not fully shown. Let’s say that a page is paginated instead of scrolling. Does search lose it’s value there? There’s certainly pending content which can’t be searched in-page in both models.

In fact, the value of in-page search actually increases in the infinite scrolling model. At first, the amount of content might be the same between a scrolling model and a paginated one. However, the paginated one has a fixed amount of content that can ever be searched: one page. As you scroll the infinite scrolling page, the amount of content only grows. The more you scroll, the more you can search and the more valuable in-browser search becomes.

No matter the case, though, I think it’s an even bigger issue to violate the user’s contract with the browser. If you are a web app, then yes, you might consider remapping lots of hotkeys and making it clear to the user that they are dealing with an app, not a site. Discourse looks like a site, though, and for whatever flashy javascript it does, it is a forum and to users, that’s a site. If you overrode the default search, it would certainly be controversial to a lot of users who rely on that feature.

(Sam_I_am) #10

I know I wouldn’t like it very much if my browser CTRL+F didn’t work the way that it always worked in the past

(Dan Neumann) #11

No need to kidnap ubiquitous browser hotkeys. Instead, add a banner ad for Pentadactyl or Vimperator. :sunny:

If we went the route of freeing up the search box from within a button, the Stack Overflow solution is elegant.

Search bar mockup

1. Starts off out of the way:

search box

2. Expands once you’ve entered text:

search box expanded

3. Has validation


(T.J. Barbour) #12

+1 I wouldn’t mind the search icon still being present as well, though it should probably be distinct from the other icons as its a fairly different function.

(Alejandro Petroff) #13

This feature is very expected by our users as we normally have got very active community with very long topics.

(Jeff Atwood) #14

Search ctrl+f is now captured for any topic larger than the post chunk size (defaults to 20).

(Jeff Atwood) #15