Advanced Search - Single Search Field

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Louis7777
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Advanced Search - Single Search Field

Post by Louis7777 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 3:21 pm

This is based on a previous discussion: "Advanced search - make it simpler to use?"

The current "search query" section has two search fields and looks like this:
advanced-search-current.png
Current Advanced Search
i) The Post Search Field

The first search field is a search for posts. It can search for keywords in a post's text and/or title in two ways:
  1. Search for all terms or use query as entered
  2. Search for any terms
Let's look at those two options. As an example query I'll be using the following: dunkin donuts

Option 1: Search for all terms or use query as entered

The first option, which is the default one, will search for all the keywords or the entire phrase (i.e. the sequence of keywords). It is a combination of two searches that we are all familiar with at Google's search. The +keyword search and the search for a phrase:
  • +dunkin +donuts
  • "dunkin donuts"
The first query is also valid for phpBB. Typing +dunkin +donuts or dunkin donuts doesn't make any difference when the first option is selected.

Option 2: Search for any terms

With the second option selected, when searching for dunkin donuts, the results that we'll get are the posts that contain at least one of the keywords in its text and/or title. It would be exactly the same if we had used the pipe operator and typed dunkin|donuts.

ii) The Author Search Field

The second search field doesn't make use of any search operators, apart from the wildcard (*). You type a single keyword and it searches for a single author.

iii) Proposal: Combined Search Fields

We could combine the post and author search fields into one, and remove the description for the two search options of the former. The user can still search for any terms by using the pipe (|) operator. So something like this:
advanced-search-proposed1.png
Proposed Advanced Search #1 - Single Search Field
Or, something like this:
advanced-search-proposed2.png
Proposed Advanced Search #2 - Single Search Field
The user could change between post search and author search by clicking on a dropdown menu:
advanced-search-proposed2-with-menu.png
Proposed Advanced Search #2 - Single Search Field And Menu
Finally, we could use some JavaScript to change the description on the left when switching between post and author (since the author search does not make use of all the operators).

I believe that particular section at the Advanced Search should be made simpler to use, so if you also think the same and/or you believe you have a better idea for the UI please discuss it in this topic (and if you disagree also discuss it here of course).

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P_I
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Re: Advanced Search - Single Search Field

Post by P_I » Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:59 pm

I think you have missed an important use case. Using your example, Option 1 results are in search.php?keywords=dunkin+donuts&terms ... mit=Search which currently shows 4 posts.

The missing use case that I know my forum members use, I want to find 'dunkin donuts' in a post by Louis7777, search.php?keywords=dunkin+donuts&terms ... mit=Search which currently shows 2 posts. It was mentioned in the previous topic you linked, see https://area51.phpbb.com/phpBB/viewtopi ... 99#p270099

Does your solution allow for a search for keywords AND author? The first and third screenshots would seem to rule it out.

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Louis7777
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Re: Advanced Search - Single Search Field

Post by Louis7777 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:11 pm

P_I wrote: Does your solution allow for a search for keywords AND author? The first and third screenshots would seem to rule it out.
No it doesn't, unfortunately. I didn't even know you could use it that way. :shock:

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Pony99CA
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Re: Advanced Search - Single Search Field

Post by Pony99CA » Thu Feb 26, 2015 4:30 am

I use that feature all of the time to find posts that I made about something, so that's a critical use case for me.

Personally, I think that both fields should be allowed to be empty. That would allow finding all posts within a specified time (as set in the Limit results to previous control).

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