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Can the interface for searching with tags be improved?

To me, the visual cues when I'm searching with tags are pretty weak or conflicting. Here are some examples of what I mean:

  • When I search for a word, I see that word in the box at the top of my search results, when I search for a tag, the tag names are displayed lower down, in the part I (and maybe others) usually skip between the search box and the list of results.

  • When searching with tags, the tag names are printed, but they're not displayed as "tags" the way they are elsewhere on the site.

Suggestions: maybe parse the search text so that "tag:word" in the search box searches for the tag named "word", and use this to indicate to the user when a tag is being searched for. Or instead, maybe display the tags that are being searched immediately below the search box, maybe a little bigger than usual (if that's easy), and maybe with little "x"'s near them so they can be individually excluded from search too.

Ok; sorry for the rambling, not-totally-explained question/suggestion; Let me know if I should try to clarify.

Evgeny's avatar
updated 2011-07-01 20:53:58 -0500
niles's avatar
asked 2010-09-09 07:58:12 -0500
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yes, I see clearly what you are talking about. It's definitely worth the experiment, I'll post an answer here when the feature is available. Btw, I want to remind anyone who might be interested - feel free to fork askbot on github and contribute some code.
Evgeny's avatar Evgeny (2010-09-09 12:08:28 -0500) edit
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2 Answers


I think if you took a Poll of the user-base, you could find the features and use-cases desired. :^)

ccanonc's avatar
answered 2010-09-10 17:40:04 -0500
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People should vote for the feature suggestions they like, it definitely helps set the priorities. Some very good suggestions are coming out of your community, I really appreciate it.
Evgeny's avatar Evgeny (2010-09-10 17:48:40 -0500) edit
You are very welcome. I hope I can find time to contribute code too, and not only ideas. Thx Evgeny!
ccanonc's avatar ccanonc (2010-09-10 18:09:10 -0500) edit
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edited done in 0.7.4: the following is supported in the search string:

Searching for users questions:

  • @john, @'john doe', [user: john]

For tags:

  • #search, [tag:search], [search]

Title match:

  • title:"search interface, [title: search interface]

Of course - there may be room for the improvements. Thanks!

Evgeny's avatar
updated 2011-07-01 21:00:18 -0500, answered 2011-01-20 22:08:02 -0500
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Definitely much better, Still potentially confusing for less savvy users.
graeme's avatar graeme (2011-01-21 01:11:20 -0500) edit
Made a small fix just now - maybe too small to notice. Could you describe what you think might be confusing, from the users point of view?
Evgeny's avatar Evgeny (2011-01-21 13:51:03 -0500) edit
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