Open Bug 1233810 Opened 6 years ago Updated 1 year ago

Make it easy to hop to a search engine by choosing its first letter


(Firefox :: Search, enhancement, P5)





(Reporter: mconley, Unassigned)



(Keywords: blocked-ux, Whiteboard: [UX feature] fxsearch)

Split off from bug 1119250 comment 37:

> I can select Wikipedia using my keyboard using the following steps on
> Windows:
> 1. Ctrl-k to select the search input
> 2. Type search query
> 3. Ctrl-Cursor Down/Up to change the search provider
> 4. Enter to search

"Right. The problem is that Step 3 is for me is eleven Cmd-Down's or
twenty Alt-Down's. Neither of which is really satisfactory. Being
able to hit Alt-Down 'W' in the old search was fast and easy. The new
way feels horribly cumbersome."

We should try to find an easier way of hopping to some of those hard-to-reach search engines using the keyboard.
I currently have 36 so called search engines, many of which do not have an icon. I switch search engine on a very regular basis (multiple times per hour, even per minute on many occasions). I need to be able to do this fast and without hassle. This is an area where the old FF search stood out among other browsers.

I cannot see what search engine to select when only a bunch of empty icons or default icon magnifying glasses are displayed. Could you please make the search engine name visible without having to hover over it or perform a search with it?

Furthermore I can't see what search engine is active at a glance, because I only see the same magnifying glass being displayed in the search bar (this used to be the active search engine). In order to know what search engine is active, I first have to click search in order to find out which search engine is active. When you need to verify that on a regular basis, the extra mouse action is getting annoying really quickly!

Besides that I'd really like to have my last selected search engine to be sticky by default and only do a one-off one time search via another engine in a special cases.
In 'preference > search', you can add keyword for each search engine. Once keyword is added (ex: ya for yahoo),

type `ya mozilla` will search mozilla via yahoo search engine
(In reply to Fred Lin [:gasolin] from comment #3)
> In 'preference > search', you can add keyword for each search engine. Once
> keyword is added (ex: ya for yahoo),

Thanks, Fred. Just to be clear, while that's a potentially acceptable workaround, it doesn't really meet the need. For large numbers of search engines (20, 40), the labor to add all those keywords is significant (esp. if every user has to do it), and ultimately once done it doesn't approach the ease of use that was present prior to FF43, esp. if there is a desire to search for the same thing in multiple engines, consecutively.
Yes it will easier to access different search engine with preset keyword. And I think it will be a convenient feature.

Besides let user specify the keyword, I had made a demo site that auto-indexing all search providers, so user can use 'y ', 'ya ', or 'yahoo ' to match search engines

@morpheus, could you help find right UX people for this?
Flags: needinfo?(mochen)
Ni Harly to find the correct owner.
Flags: needinfo?(mochen) → needinfo?(hhsu)
If you're saying a keyword-based solution is better for the user than having a cursor jump based on first-letter presses, I would respectfully disagree. Keywords are inherently not discoverable and difficult to remember. Also, two-letter keywords are often not unique, I have several 5 or 6 search engines that collide in the first two letters...
I think this is a feature request and will probably need a PM from Firefox to have a look at this. However, I am not familiar with PM from Firefox, maybe Mike knows them more than I do.
Flags: needinfo?(hhsu)
Hi Stephen,

Is it possible that this is a UX we'd want  to do?  sounds like there are folks to implement in Tai Pei - if the UX is one we want to add.
Severity: normal → enhancement
Flags: needinfo?(shorlander)
Priority: -- → P4
Whiteboard: [UX feature] fxsearch
See Also: → 648398
Severity: normal → N/A
Flags: needinfo?(shorlander)
Keywords: blocked-ux
Priority: P4 → P5
You need to log in before you can comment on or make changes to this bug.