Search suggestions opt-in/out UI is confusing for the user

RESOLVED INVALID

Status

()

P3
normal
Rank:
39
RESOLVED INVALID
3 years ago
7 months ago

People

(Reporter: BenWa, Unassigned)

Tracking

(Blocks: 1 bug)

Trunk
Points:
---
Dependency tree / graph
Bug Flags:
firefox-backlog +

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)

Details

(Whiteboard: [fxsearch][searchsuggestions])

(Reporter)

Description

3 years ago
I just saw the UX introduced in bug 959567 when I updated Nightly today. This UX is not ready:

1) The 'Learn More' link isn't ready as the time of filling this bug.
2) This UI leaves me wondering 'Why are you asking me?' 'Why isn't this the default' 'The must be a catch but I don't know what it is'.
3) I clicked 'Yes' and the menu disappears. I'm not told what setting was flipped so I can't easily investigate.

This UX isn't ready, I'm not sure what it's doing in Nightly.
(Reporter)

Comment 1

3 years ago
[Tracking Requested - why for this release]: We should not ship confusing UX in a prominent place like the Awesomebar.
tracking-firefox42: --- → ?
Flags: firefox-backlog+
Whiteboard: [fxsearch][searchsuggestions]

Comment 2

3 years ago
If you don't know what search suggestions are, and are using nightly, you're probably using the wrong channel.

(In reply to Benoit Girard (:BenWa) from comment #0)

> 1) The 'Learn More' link isn't ready as the time of filling this bug.

It will be ready on Monday; I'm finishing content. None of our existing documentation explains what suggests are, which means the existing suggests documentation isn't appropriate.

> 2) This UI leaves me wondering 'Why are you asking me?' 'Why isn't this the
> default' 'The must be a catch but I don't know what it is'.

See #1, where we will explain it. Wait a couple days.

> 3) I clicked 'Yes' and the menu disappears. I'm not told what setting was
> flipped so I can't easily investigate.

See #1, where we will explain it.

> This UX isn't ready, I'm not sure what it's doing in Nightly.

It is ready. What's not in place is the Learn More content, which addresses your points, and will be in place in short order. Nightly is not intended for general consumption, and users shouldn't expect release-ready code/content in it.
(Reporter)

Comment 3

3 years ago
(In reply to Kev Needham [:kev] from comment #2)
> It will be ready on Monday

> Wait a couple days.

> See #1, where we will explain it.

> It is ready.

What? You just told me to wait a couple days. It's not ready.

Comment 4

3 years ago
UI is ready, supporting content is not. Two different things.
(In reply to Benoit Girard (:BenWa) from comment #3)
> (In reply to Kev Needham [:kev] from comment #2)
> > It will be ready on Monday
> 
> > Wait a couple days.
> 
> > See #1, where we will explain it.
> 
> > It is ready.
> 
> What? You just told me to wait a couple days. It's not ready.

The opt-in request feature is ready, i.e. it works. The "Learn More…" support document is not ready yet. The support document is not a requirement to test the opt-in feature.

Nightly is a development branch. That means there is some risk to using it. It might crash more, it might eat your session restore data or you might get progressive UI changes.
After playing with this UI for a bit, I have a suggestion that would make it more intuitive IMHO:

Show it at the bottom of search result box once it opens (so, after user starts typing search query and we start showing first search results).

Rationale: 

* Currently the UI asks me to make a decision when I don't search. I may just have opened a new tab and want to paste or type a URL into it. I'm not in a "search mode".

* I don't see a consequence of my action. If I click "yes" the popup disappears and I see nothing. If I saw it in a search result box, I'd expect the search result box to expand with search engine results after clicking yes, which is logical and explains what happens

* The added results could be marked with a slightly different background color to indicate that they are from search engine. If then I got an option to "turn off suggestions" in the same search result box I could just collapse the search results. This way I can easily turn on/off and play with it until I understand and decide what I prefer. The action is reversible and the decision is made in the UI which is affected (instead of in preference panel where it is disconnected).

* The reason we add this option is because we believe people expect it. So it would nicely fit into the narrative when the user is typing a search query into an address bar and sees only result from history/bookmarks and is asking "well, where are the results I expect to see?" - and right there he'd see the question "Hey, do you want search results to appear here as well? Yes / No" and he can click "no" to disable the question or "yes" and they'd be added to the results. It sounds more intuitive progression than a surprising popup in a disconnected mode.
(In reply to Zibi Braniecki [:gandalf][:zibi] from comment #6)
> Show it at the bottom of search result box once it opens (so, after user
> starts typing search query and we start showing first search results).

Your suggestion is good, we will do this (bug 1192347), but not at the bottom, it would be jumpy.

> * The added results could be marked with a slightly different background
> color to indicate that they are from search engine.

It would look fancy, I think.
Currently these suggestions have a magnifier icon and additional "Search with Engine" text appears when you hover/select them. So they are already looking different. I don't think it's a good idea to present to the user a lot of fancy colored stuff when there's no visible legenda of what those colors mean.

> If then I got an option
> to "turn off suggestions" in the same search result box I could just
> collapse the search results. This way I can easily turn on/off and play with
> it until I understand and decide what I prefer.

I think once we have the complete one click footer would be nice to have there a very simple "toggle" ui. But I'll leave this to UX to evaluate and it may be a future enhancement.

PS: we should really go back and rename Nightly to Minefield, so nobody would expect it being a polished product :) That name had a lot of value.
Depends on: 1192347
also, the preferences UI will be tweaked in bug 1181173 to make easier for the user to find the option to revert or change the decision.
Depends on: 1181173, 1189409
(In reply to Zibi Braniecki [:gandalf][:zibi] from comment #6)
> * I don't see a consequence of my action. If I click "yes" the popup
> disappears and I see nothing. If I saw it in a search result box, I'd expect
> the search result box to expand with search engine results after clicking
> yes, which is logical and explains what happens

I agree it would be nice to make it more obvious what happens when we add suggest entries after you hit "Yes". Even though there are many cases where the current query won't trigger a suggest entry.
yeah, we retrigger a search, but it might not be triggering suggestions. it's more likely to trigger them for new users though.
(In reply to Marco Bonardo [::mak] (spotty available until 24 Aug) from comment #7)
> > * The added results could be marked with a slightly different background
> > color to indicate that they are from search engine.
> 
> It would look fancy, I think.
> Currently these suggestions have a magnifier icon and additional "Search
> with Engine" text appears when you hover/select them. So they are already
> looking different. I don't think it's a good idea to present to the user a
> lot of fancy colored stuff when there's no visible legenda of what those
> colors mean.

I agree that different colors may create noise.

The way I was thinking about it was one of two things:

1) Either some subtle gradient at the right-most side of the line with slight trace of color.
2) Temporary color highlight as the results appear

For the former, I can imagine it being a search engine icon instead and maybe even extending this visual terminology to indicate where the result is from (history, bookmarks, google, yahoo etc.)

For the latter, I played a little bit with the concept and created a mockup: http://labs.braniecki.net/search/

I know you said that bottom would be jumpy, but I wanted to give it a try because the narrative where the user scans the list and by the end doesn't see what he is looking for, asks himself "where is the thing I expect?" and sees the bar saying "Didn't find what you're looking for? Here, maybe want to turn on search suggestions?" is sooo tempting :)

I played some tricks to make it feel less jumpy. Maybe you'll find it useful, but of course I understand that top bar is more conservative.

Hope that helps!

Updated

3 years ago
Flags: needinfo?(kev)

Updated

3 years ago
Rank: 39
Priority: -- → P3
Tracked for 42, to be sure we have both the UI and the UX complete before release.
tracking-firefox42: ? → +
Since this is tracked, it's worth figuring what to do.
Shorlander, do you think there's any other suggestion in this bug we should take before release, should we leave this for future thoughts, or do we consider this good enough based on feedback?
Currently the learn more link should be working, we only show the notification when the user starts typing and when Yes is chosen we restart the search so that suggestions should appear.
Blocks: 958204
Flags: needinfo?(shorlander)
Shell, could you please figure out who should make a call here?
Flags: needinfo?(sescalante)

Comment 15

3 years ago
thanks for your feedback benwa.  I am removing the tracking for 42 as Suggestions is not in Fx42 and the plan is to go with this UX in 43.  Will keep this bug for improvements in future design and to watch metrics on user behavior.  replied directly to your list below:

#1 I'll follow up with Kev on the learn more link - if that wasn't working we'll fix it and file a separate bug.
#2 that was debated and came from Eng and Product Director that it needed to be opt-in rather than the original opt-out design, because it's something pretty different.  also had a lot of feedback from the vocal yammer participants in Fx41 that opt-out was not OK.
#3 from our UX guy "I think there are some good ideas in there for making it more obvious what clicking "Yes" does for your UI / experience. But nothing in the short term. Would need more thought."  

There are changes in settings and preferences and the functionality is there to change the selection, but could be more obvious.
status-firefox42: affected → ---
tracking-firefox42: + → ---
Flags: needinfo?(sescalante)
Flags: needinfo?(shorlander)

Updated

3 years ago
Flags: needinfo?(kev)
I don't think this still applies, since we moved to an opt-out notification, and anyway, the fx-dev mailing list would be a better place to discuss.
Status: NEW → RESOLVED
Last Resolved: 7 months ago
Resolution: --- → INVALID
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