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What Forem search features are you craving?

molly_struve profile image Molly Struve (she/her) ・1 min read

If there is one thing I am passionate about, it is search! Forem currently has some basic offerings, but I would love to expand it.

What kind of search features would you like to see?

What other websites have, what you would consider, an excellent search experience?

Discussion

markdown guide
 
  • Filter by tags (AND as well as OR)
  • Filter by date
  • Filter by user (and org)
  • Include tags themselves in base search results (We get a lot of queries like "React" where the most appropriate result would be the tag itself, I imagine that would be similar for any community)
  • Include organizations
  • Richer results, perhaps bundling of comment results, etc.

There's some more stuff but I don't want to get ahead of myself.

I think in terms of our philosophy, we should embrace a few things:

  • An understanding that getting it right the first time is not always possible and we should make the filters available to help the user find what they're looking for.
  • A strong ongoing effort to continue to work with the results such that we always attempt to get it right the first time, while giving the user the option to go deeper if possible.

I think we should seek to build a really nice and intuitive UI, but we should also have it reflect in the text-based search, so I'd be really happy personally if we started with the text search, like elasticsearch author:molly_struve tag:ruby|rails and go deep with that and then let the designers figure out how to best represent all the different types of filtering, rather than make the UI a blocker for improvements here.

 

It would be awesome if this was build without lot of dropdowns and filter UI (something like what Todoist has).

 

Spotlight for Forem

I love how Spotlight works on iOS. You swipe from top to bottom on your home screen and you can see some top suggestions (like shortcuts, recent searches etc.)

  1. You press / and search bar in header becomes active (that's the equivalent of swiping) and you can already pick something from suggestions.
  2. You start typing and everything changes.

Smart search

So when I search for "javascript" I think it would make sense to redirect me to /t/javascript right away instead of showing me results...

...or show me results but make the first one being shortcut to the tag page.

 

I think something like GitHub's search would be nice.

For none Dev forems this would need a GUI that updates the search box too

 
 

When I begin entering text into the search input, I want a dropdown to appear with autocomplete options.

 
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Are you thinking like search for markdown hints? I'm talking site search for posts, users, tags, podcasts, etc

 

Woops! I thought you meant all features. I got excited when I saw "new features" in the title and I mashed reply.

Nothing to see here