Feature Proposal: Integrate WebSearch, WebSearchAdvanced, Alphabetical search and SearchHelp


With the advances of Sven's paginated search we have a nice focus on search improvements. We should not neglect the search pages.

Description and Documentation

I think these can be improved with:
  • A tabbed navigation across the topics
  • Providing a natural progression from default WebSearch to WebSearchAdvanced through a "more search options" link
    • WebSearchAdvanced will exist as page because of existing links
  • Make it easier to modify the search by keeping the search box at the top, and having the options folded in
  • Integrate A-Z search instead of in the "tips" block at the bottom
  • Provide help in a tab instead of a small link

In all, this should lead to a cleaner and more efficient user interface.


See the page mockups how this could work:




For the tabbed navigation we would introduce a 'default' (base.css) style, or let jquery provide the behaviour and base styling.

-- Contributors: ArthurClemens - 17 Mar 2010


Very cool!

Some remarks:

  • "Number of topics: 36" seems to be redundant.
  • "Search in all public webs" is too hidden.
  • "Sort by" is hidden even more inside two nested twisties
  • pagination should be added as well
  • the "Don't show" options can be removed for simplicity
  • the different types of search are far from intuitive; normal users most probably expect a kind of google query language; there should only be two types of search: a simple and an advanced
  • "Limiting results per web" is an artefact of the current default search engine; limiting results per page makes more sense.
  • there should be only three sorting types: relevance (default), alphabetical, last changed
  • by default user should not be bother to distinguish topic search and content search; this distinction isn't that useful

Here's a screenshot of the current search interface of SolrPlugin which has got some parts that I'd recommend for normal WebSearch as well.


-- MichaelDaum - 17 Mar 2010

Michael, I agree with most of your points. This layout is based on what is possible and offered today. Good to push it even further:
  • Remove "Search where" for default search
  • Offer sorting options instead for default search: as you say, relevance (default), alphabetical, last changed

Make "Search in all webs" more prominent.

When result sets are finished we should:
  • Add pagination
  • Remove grouping by web. Should we offer any grouping in default search?

Different types of search are for advanced users. But I would not remove them entirely.

-- ArthurClemens - 17 Mar 2010

This proposal is passed by 14-day rule.

But as I do not see any checkins yet for this, and I also see a great deal of work, I assume this is a 2.0 scope work.

We are past the official feature freeze date now, and any new features not yet started and reasonably implemented will have to be deferred.

Because of Easter holidays I assume many of you would like to spend the days off on some programming I I give you till Monday the 5th if you have the work ready to checkin.

But if you expect this to take many weeks, please defer to 2.0. It is not a killer feature we cannot live without.

Based on the discussion I really think the implementation should be done on 2.0 so we have time to discuss and improve once we see it in reality.

-- KennethLavrsen - 01 Apr 2010

Implementation is done ( Tasks.Item8839 ), but I need to do proper browser testing when I am at home.

What I haven't done:
  • Display the number of hits with each row "xxx results in YYY web"
  • Use a toggle for advanced search - this is now a tab
  • List all topics on page one of A-Z. Perhaps this is not necessary.
  • Rewriting of SearchHelp. This is a separate task.

-- ArthurClemens - 04 Apr 2010
Topic revision: r6 - 04 Apr 2010, ArthurClemens
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