[Theforum] quick thought on our search boxes

rudy r937 at interlog.com
Sat Jan 12 15:38:42 CST 2002

> sure, but a cflocation just to get to the right search form?
> sounds like a hack.

pot, kettle -- kettle, pot

i suggested the cflocation on the naive, it turns out, assumption that we
could add a new action page, point all the search forms to it, and have
that action page redirect the traffic to the appropriate currently existing
search form for each search type -- articles, users, whatever -- so as to
eliminate the need to re-code a far more sohisticated search page that
could handle all the different types of searches properly

little did i realize that the url structure itself is a gross hack  ;o)

thanks for pointing out the difference between /search/index.html and
/comment/search/index.html and /user/search/index.html, but i hardly think
that you should be excused from culpability, since your fingerprints are
all over the murder weapon

> something of this nature would be better addressed in a new redesign
> where it can be accounted for while the underlying architecture of the
> is being designed.

i know what you're saying, but i'm also from the school of thought that
says you should pick the low hanging fruit today, especially if it's right
in front of you

if we can improve functionality without doing a major redesign (adding a
new common search action page that does a redirect should hardly be called
a redesign) then why not?

here, let me give you a recent example to underscore my belief that this is
the right strategy, to improve without putting everything off to a

>step back for a second and think about what that search box is for -- a
>quick search.  right now there aren't options like restricting the search
>a certain category for articles.  that's reserved for the advanced page.

gotta agree with the concept of simple versus advanced searching

but (and it's a big but) --

that's why there are three search boxes now, right?  to keep things simple?

there used to be only one

somebody made a design decision here, that searching for certain categories
of articles continue to be relegated to the advanced page, but searching
for articles VERSUS comments VERSUS users is now considered to be
fundamentally more important, so much more important that now all three are
presented on every page!! and all three lead to *what must be assumed to
be* three different advanced search pages!!!!!

three separate search boxes, where before we had one, was undoubtedly
thought to be the easiest way to *add more functionality* without a major

was this additional functionality considered in light of the cognitive
dissonance it adds to the users?  why didn't it wait until it could be
"better addressed in a new redesign where it can be accounted for while the
underlying architecture of the site is being designed"?

sorry, i don't mean to sound negative, because i am actually *in favour* of
making changes as we go, rather than postponing stuff to a redesign -- just
as whoever created three search boxes obviously is


>  many other users, including those taking the survey, have
> commented that the article search should search comments
> as well because they can't recall if the bit they remember about
> the article was in the article or in a comment on the article.

so, um, why are these implemented as separate searches?

>i don't like the idea of using a select with the multiple option.  many
>people, including some web developers don't know how to use them.

you got to be shitting me

>additionally it requires using the keyboard in addition to the mouse.

oh, please

now you're just trolling, and i ain't biting


>the other thing to consider with an all-in-one search is that the results
>for each type currently have a slightly different display, purposely
>designed to suit the type of information being searched and the type of
>information being returned in the query results.  it could be very
>interesting to try to merge them all in to a single useful interface.

yes, excellent point, that's one for the tuftes among us, eh?

>here's an interim idea, how about a link from the articles search that
>allows you to perform the same keyword(s) search on comments or users?
>same could be done for comments and users as well.  this would be akin to
>the links at the bottom of search results on google.com that say "try this
>search on excite", "try this search on yahoo", "try this search on
>altavista", etc.

so, what happened to "something of this nature would be better addressed in
a new redesign where it can be accounted for while the underlying
architecture of the site is being designed"?


just yanking your chain, dude


More information about the theforum mailing list