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[Koha-devel] Search UI
[Koha-devel] Search UI
Sat Oct 5 18:02:01 2002
There's been some talk here about improving the searching
code. It seems to me that a lot can be done by improving the user
Currently, the internal and OPAC search pages have three types
of searches, but this isn't obvious.
There's the search by bar code, which returns information
about a specific item.
There's the "fuzzy" search by author, title, etc. which
searches for a combination of criteria.
There's the subject search, which searches for known subjects,
On the internal search page, the barcode search is visually
distinct from the other searches, so it's intuitively obvious that
they're two different types of searches and should return different
results. On the OPAC page, however, all of the fields are grouped
together, giving the impression that it's just one tyep of search.
If you see
you naturally assume that you can fill in "Asimov" and "Astronomy",
and get books with "Asimov" as the author AND "astronomy" in the
title. Therefore, you conclude, if you see
you can fill in "Asimov" as the author and "astronomy" as the subject,
and get all the books written by Asimov on the subject of astronomy.
This isn't what the page does: it ignores the author entirely, and
displays a list of subjects that have the word "astronomy" in them.
Likewise, it doesn't make sense to combine the barcode with
anything else, such as an author. The barcode uniquely identifies a
book, so either the author will match and return the same result as
the barcode alone, or it won't and the search will return nothing.
Finally, there's only one "OK Start Search" button on the
page, which reinforces the impression that everything is part of one
This is true, actually: there's only one <form> block on the
search page, and the code in C4/Search.pm jumps through all sorts of
hoops to see which fields were specified and which ones weren't, and
try to guess from that what kind of search the user wants to perform.
IMHO it'd be better to start by changing the page layout:
Title: ________________ (*) Normal ( ) Exact
Series: ________________ (*) Normal ( ) Exact
Item type: [Choose an item type]
(And maybe drop the Dewey search. I don't know.)
For the first search, all of the terms would be combined: the
search would return all books that match all of the criteria. The
second search would return a list of subjects, the way it's currently
done. The third search would find a specific book, as you'd expect.
This layout seems more intuitive to me.
(The in-store search thingy at Borders has a different
interface: a pull-down selection box allows you to choose whether you
want to search by author, title, or keyword. But I think the above is
better, since it allows you to narrow the search by providing more
The underlying HTML would then contain three <form> blocks.
Each one could then include a field like
<input type="hidden" name="type" value="by-barcode">
which would take the guesswork out of the code that actually performs
the search and make it easier to Do The Right Thing.
Thoughts? Opinions? Dissent?
Andrew Arensburger This message *does* represent the
address@hidden views of ooblick.com
A running program is the moment of truth.
All else is either prophecy or nostalgia.
- [Koha-devel] Search UI,
Andrew Arensburger <=