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Archive 2012 · Search box usability issue, a suggestion, and a fix using...
  
 
Todd Moon
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Search box usability issue, a suggestion, and a fix using Greasemonkey


I've been using the Buy & Sell forum a ton over the past couple of days, looking for new gear. I've been doing a lot of searches and I discovered a minor usability problem.

Problem:

At first, the search box on the top of each forum contains the text "Enter keyword". When you click on the box it clears the text to let you easily enter your search words. This is normally a great feature, except it clears the box every time it receives focus, not just the first time.

Here are some cases where this behavior is inconvenient:

  1. You enter words, click search, and get bad results so you press the Back button in your browser to go back and edit your keywords. The words are now gone because the browser gave focus to the last box your cursor was in and this clears the box again. This at least happens in Firefox.
  2. You enter some terms in the box and scroll down or something to check the spelling of some word you saw in a post title, or something like that. Then you click back in the box to add to it and it clears it again.


The first one is what has been bothering me a lot lately because I'm trying to narrow down my search results by changing my search keywords and it clears it each time.

Suggestion:

Change the javascript on the search boxes to only clear them when they contain the default text. This will be slightly different depending on if it's for the topic search or the B&H search.

Example new code:

<input type="text" value="Enter keyword" onfocus="if( this.value === 'Enter keyword' ) this.value = '';" />

(Other attributes have been excluded for brevity.)

This will keep the desired behavior while stopping the undesirable behavior.

Work-arounds:

  1. Each time the box gets cleared by accident, hit Ctrl-Z while the box is focused to undo the clear. This works in Firefox, at least.
  2. Install a Greasemonkey script I just created that changes the behavior to match my suggestion: http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/153178


Even if this behavior is never changed, at least there are these work-arounds.



Nov 29, 2012 at 12:37 AM
tntcorp
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Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Search box usability issue, a suggestion, and a fix using Greasemonkey


todd - great suggestion and work around.

hopefully, fred will recognize the issue and improve the search engine.

thanks for the posting!


tom



Dec 03, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Jeffrey
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Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Search box usability issue, a suggestion, and a fix using Greasemonkey


Good idea. That behavior is maddening!


Dec 04, 2012 at 05:26 PM





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