View Full Version : Search boxes have usability issues!

May 17th, 2006, 06:57 AM

I do love this software, but as I'm setting up my first gallery, there are some usability issues that some of my testers are consistently coming across.

Currently they don't understand why the search boxes all look the same and are labelled the same, but don't function the same.

For example, on the 'home' page, if you search for a user by name, it comes up with the comment "This category does not contain any images.".

First of all, What Category??? I didn't realise that I was in a category. I was looking at the home page. Secondly, once the user has drilled down into a category it is quite possible to search for a user by name. Which is great.

But why do these search boxes work differently? They are not labelled differently.

Chuck S
May 17th, 2006, 07:02 AM
You are not searching by name on the home page or cat search box. Your searching the photos titles description etc. You can only search comments and name on the main search page much like the vbulletin software we use here there are special switches and boxes for that stuff.

May 17th, 2006, 07:11 AM
Well yes, I know that and you know that. But my point is that none of the users who have been testing the program for me know that. And I sympathise with them. There is no reason why they should know that as the search boxes look identical, but they return different results.

Chuck S
May 17th, 2006, 07:20 AM
I can only explain how the program works. It works like any other product I have seen that utilizes these little mini search boxes. There is no search by username feature on those mini quick search boxes.

1. If you are on the home page then anything you enter on that mini box will search all category photos title and description extra fields etc for the search word.

2. If you are within a category the search box will do the same thing as the home page only limiting the search results to the category you are in.

3. The search by username feature is located on the main search page

May 17th, 2006, 07:33 AM
2. If you are within a category the search box will do the same thing as the home page only limiting the search results to the category you are in.

Except it doesn't do the same thing. If I search by username in the category section, it does find galleries by username. This is where the confusion is coming in.

On any other program I have seen, the search is consistent.

I appreciate that this is how you have chosen to make your product. I was just making some observations, as a user, that I feel might be relevent in improving the usability of the product should you decide that I have point. :)

Chuck S
May 17th, 2006, 07:36 AM
If you are in a category and search username it works as I stated above.

Your talking about the members gallery search which will perform different for that one category because it is a placeholder category and showmembers script is used to search that is why it is a little different as it does not use the showgallery script to do search's like everything else.

May 17th, 2006, 07:47 AM
OK thanks. That makes sense now that you have explaned it. And I agree that technically it makes complete sense.

But I think the issue is still there. I have four or five users testing this out for me at the moment and all of them were confused by this. For the user, all they are doing is looking at an identical looking search box and expecting it to work in the same way, wherever they are in the site.

I suppose what I could do is edit the text of the search boxes to reflect this somehow? Not sure what to say exactly though...

Thanks for the help and sorry if I came across as too critical. As I said, I love this tool generally.

Chuck S
May 17th, 2006, 08:02 AM
Not a problem at all. ;)