Working quick search bar demo

edited May 2013 in General Archive
I've been heads-down on the quick search bar feature for a couple days and wanted to show the progress.

"Watch the video":

A few things to keep in mind:

* It's currently unstyled. I'm not sure yet exactly how I envision it fully styled. I want to present the information nicely, but compactly, so we can show a large result set. I'll have to get Drew in on this when he's got a free moment.
* It's attached to the current layout, but will move to the sticky bar that you see at the top of the campaign dashboard pages. I want it to be always there, just a click (or perhaps hotkey) away.
* When I select the page to go to, the page loads very slow. That's because it's my development environment which isn't optimized like the production environment. Just ignore that.

Let me know what you think!


  • JustinMason
    Posts: 36
    I like the suggested functionality. The availability aspect of it is appealing. I know you stated you haven't really considered completely how to style it, but I'm curious: do you think will there be a way to differentiate between various record types in the quick search list generated?
  • Calion
    Posts: 144
    I think this goes well with my Navbar suggestion in "Good Designers Borrow": One potential issue I have with the demo is that it's not clear what to do if I just want to go to a page listing everything tagged "inquisition," as opposed to a page listing every page with "inquisition" on it somewhere, which I presume is what will happen if I just click Go instead of clicking a link.
  • Micah
    Posts: 894
    @hoptown - Yes, if you look closely you'll see that the entries are grouped by type (blog_posts, game_characters, forum_posts, etc.) My leaning for styling would be to use icons to differentiate between the record types. In the latest examples of the dashboard we've got some icons to represent all the different record types and I'm hoping to use those throughout the site. But, the answer to the core question is: yes, I plan to differentiate based on type.

    @calion - Yes, the idea is that if you submit the search form without choosing an option, it will do a full-text search of your campaign. However, I like the idea of being able to get to a page that shows a listing of all bits of content tagged with a certain tag. I'll have to think about that a bit.
  • GamingMegaverse
    Posts: 2,994
    Adding to Hoptown's great ?, will you be able to narrow the search by any manner? We have used the tags heavily in our game, and the search capabilities were the main reason. However, after 2 years the tags are getting heavy (the highest occurrence is for one of the PCs, who has over 300 tags). A way to narrow searches would be awesome!

    Just trying to help out.

  • JustinMason
    Posts: 36
    @Killervp: I did the same thing with my previous campaign. I had so many relevant labels (on characters for instance) that it messed up the wrap on the default list display. When I started my present campaign, I made a point to only add those labels I felt where "most relevant," which helped a lot with utilizing the existing system. Having worked as a database administrator, maintaining a ton of relational data came naturally (almost instinctively), but I found that, really, most of the labels I was using were redundant or just provided an exploded view of existing information that really didn't need to be indexed.

    I think, at least from what I gathered from the demonstration, that the "campaign global" intelligent search will also include content fields when determining relevance. If that's the case, I think it should resolve that issue since it's grouping them by type by default, and there won't be a need to be so redundant with labeling.
  • Micah
    Posts: 894
    The quick search as shown is pretty dumb. It only searches the title/name and the tags. In order to keep it simple and fast, that's what I went with. My hope is that it's "good enough" for the majority of cases. You'll be thinking to yourself, "I need the mayor of Merlatberg" or "I think that characters name was Arya or Aralia" and you can just start typing some characters and know instantly if you get a hit.

    That being said, full-text searching and refinement (often called "faceting") is possible, but it's not trivial. Our existing search already allows faceting by content type (post, wiki page, character, user, etc.) but I agree that there's plenty of room for improvement there.

    Can you give examples of sites with good searching that offer the refinement you want? Specifically, if there's a site that has user generated content (like a wiki or forum) and an especially good search, point me there and tell me why you like the search.
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