Closed Bug 1438130 Opened 3 years ago Closed 3 years ago

(Nightly) Suggestions still available (alexa top 100) when all search suggestions preferences are turned off

Categories

(Firefox :: Address Bar, defect, P1)

defect

Tracking

()

VERIFIED FIXED
Firefox 60
Tracking Status
firefox60 --- verified

People

(Reporter: aflorinescu, Assigned: mak)

References

(Blocks 1 open bug)

Details

(Whiteboard: [fxsearch])

Attachments

(1 file)

[Environments:]
58.0.2     20180206200532 - Not reproducible
59.0b9     20180209162511 - Not reproducible

60.0a1     20180213100127 - Reproducible
59.0a1     20171202100103 - Reproducible
56.0a1     20170701100236 - Reproducible

OS'es: Windows 10, Ubuntu 16.04, OsX 10.10


[Steps:]
1. Open Firefox using a new profile.
2. Open about about:preferences#search
3. Turn off all search suggestion options.
4. Open a new tab and type "si" or "so" or "am"

[Actual Result:]
si - http://sina.com.cn/ gets autofilled.
so - http://sohu.com/ gets autofilled
am - http://amazon.com/ gets autofilled

[Regression Range:]
https://hg.mozilla.org/integration/autoland/pushloghtml?fromchange=092428e1b2ba018538f03a3738a16c614bb84dde&tochange=9762f34b30a47309312186057c62fb9a44a6108e

bug 1344276 - Make sample list of top 20 websites (of www.alexa.com/topsites) for autocomlete prefill


[Expected Result:]
IMO, based on the settings in about:preferences#search, only history should be suggested and autofilled in this case. IMO, even if bug 1344276 moves forward, it shouldn't overwrite the search suggestion preferences as they are set in about:preferences#search.  

[Note:]
As far as I can tell this bug is localized on Nightly Channels, so I'm not sure how to set the affected versions flag.
We could add UI for the preference that turns this feature on/off, I guess? But that'd be difficult to do right.

It doesn't seem right to me to disable this feature when the search suggestions are off because one of the main reason people turn off search suggestions is to avoid your url bar typing going to the search engine, whereas the domain suggestions are local-only so they don't have that problem. We also don't turn off history results when turning off search results, so yeah... Marco, thoughts?
Blocks: 1340663
No longer blocks: 1344276
Flags: needinfo?(mak77)
As a personal side-note, I found this bug while tinkering with bug 1432716 and I was really confused with what was happening:
1. On one side, I would get sina.com.cn and sohu.com (which I believe are in top 20 global alexa) and my first instinctive thought was: malware?  
2. Then, tinkering with the search suggestion preferences, I got deeper into the confusion state since I would expect them to go away if I set no suggestions. 

All in all, even assessing that there is user demand for these top sites suggestions, I don't believe grouping the top sites suggestions in the same category & presentation as browsing history is the most intuitive way to go. I would personally expect these suggestions to be separate from everything, marked as such and certainly to have a way to turn them off.
(In reply to :Gijs from comment #1)
> We could add UI for the preference that turns this feature on/off, I guess?
> But that'd be difficult to do right.

This feature is Nightly only and there's no clear path to release yet, because we miss pieces.
I don't think we should expose a preference in this state.
And even in the future, it's something supposed to only help new users for a few amount of days, thus it doesn't look like a in need of a permanent pref.

> It doesn't seem right to me to disable this feature when the search
> suggestions are off because one of the main reason people turn off search
> suggestions is to avoid your url bar typing going to the search engine,
> whereas the domain suggestions are local-only so they don't have that
> problem. We also don't turn off history results when turning off search
> results, so yeah... Marco, thoughts?

Yeah, search suggestions have a different behavior.
Also binding these to history would look wrong, people would think we put these thing in history.

I honestly think currently this feature is more confusing than useful because we present domains that look alien to the user. Comment 2 is on the spot, it looks like malware, because it suggests foreign sites in foreign languages. Very few english users know what those are.

My thought is that for now we should disable the feature completely, until:
1. we have updated lists per locale
2. we can style these suggestions in a way that helps the user understanding we provide them (we may need a new UX bug blocking bug 1340663)

Even if (2) should end up being hard, a very short list of pages known to most of the Web population would likely reduce the likelihood of confusion by itself.

Does this make sense?
Flags: needinfo?(mak77) → needinfo?(gijskruitbosch+bugs)
(In reply to Marco Bonardo [::mak] from comment #3)
> I honestly think currently this feature is more confusing than useful
> because we present domains that look alien to the user. Comment 2 is on the
> spot, it looks like malware, because it suggests foreign sites in foreign
> languages. Very few english users know what those are.

I talked about this with Adrian on slack and he said that even a localized list might be mistaken for advertising in some locales (I guess without clear UI). I wonder how unbiased Alexa's results are in different regions.

> My thought is that for now we should disable the feature completely, until:
> 1. we have updated lists per locale
> 2. we can style these suggestions in a way that helps the user understanding
> we provide them (we may need a new UX bug blocking bug 1340663)
> 
> Even if (2) should end up being hard, a very short list of pages known to
> most of the Web population would likely reduce the likelihood of confusion
> by itself.
> 
> Does this make sense?

I am unhappy about this because I would prefer to have someone actually do the work to get this shipped (in modified form, ie doing (1) and (2)). But I agree that this is perhaps unlikely to happen soon, and if we want to turn it off in the meantime if it's genuinely concerning to users I guess I won't object.
Flags: needinfo?(gijskruitbosch+bugs)
(In reply to :Gijs from comment #4)
> (In reply to Marco Bonardo [::mak] from comment #3)
> > I honestly think currently this feature is more confusing than useful
> > because we present domains that look alien to the user. Comment 2 is on the
> > spot, it looks like malware, because it suggests foreign sites in foreign
> > languages. Very few english users know what those are.
> 
> I talked about this with Adrian on slack and he said that even a localized
> list might be mistaken for advertising in some locales (I guess without
> clear UI). I wonder how unbiased Alexa's results are in different regions.

No doubt, but exchanging things for advertising is slightly better than exchanging them for a malware.
It's still negative for us, but we got similar opinions for non-advertising promoted content in the new tab, so it looks a bit more acceptable.
I'll prioritize this to disable the feature for now.
Priority: -- → P1
Whiteboard: [fxsearch]
+1 for comment 5, localized list would be better than current list at least from excluding weird sites that might seem out of order for some users (i.e. showing cn site to eu/us). I've followed up with taking a diagonal look at how alexa top 50 looks for RO localization and excluding the NSFW, some entries from there look "interesting" in my view. For example there are some ru entries, which I doubt would be relevant for the majority of RO localization, so I guess we would need quite some deal of additional research on how to compile such a list in order to be relevant for general users and locales alike.
I filed Bug 1438908 for the UX problem.
Assignee: nobody → mak77
Status: NEW → ASSIGNED
Comment on attachment 8951665 [details]
Bug 1438130 - Disable preloaded top websites suggestions in the Address Bar until ready.

https://reviewboard.mozilla.org/r/220964/#review226884
Attachment #8951665 - Flags: review?(gijskruitbosch+bugs) → review+
Pushed by mak77@bonardo.net:
https://hg.mozilla.org/integration/autoland/rev/9f4beb4471fb
Disable preloaded top websites suggestions in the Address Bar until ready. r=Gijs
https://hg.mozilla.org/mozilla-central/rev/9f4beb4471fb
Status: ASSIGNED → RESOLVED
Closed: 3 years ago
Resolution: --- → FIXED
Target Milestone: --- → Firefox 60
I have reproduced this bug with Nightly 60.0a1 (2018-02-14) on Windows 10, 64 Bit!

This bug's fix is verified with latest Nightly!

Build ID   : 20180225100219
User Agent : Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:60.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/60.0
QA Whiteboard: [bugday-20180221]
Status: RESOLVED → VERIFIED
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