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Search: Problems, bugs and suggestions

If you encounter any problems or have suggestions for improvements related to our new Search function, please post them to this thread.

For more information on search, see: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/41654...

-- Jacquilynne, Community Manager for Chowhound

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  1. Big improvement, generally.

    Main problem: When searching from a board, it should default to return results only from that board. It takes a ridiculous number of clicks to get there from the current default.

    Where's the "search titles only" option?

    Sort should default to newest first, or be "sticky" so that you don't have to change it every time.

    Results should include "New" flags.

    Ads in the middle of the search results are seriously annoying.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Just type board:"boardname" or some substring of the name in your query. All the search options are explained on the help page: http://www.chowhound.com/search . You can search by title, user, and other things.

      We'll think about adding some persistent options, and the "new" flags is a good idea.

      1. re: Engineering

        Would still be nice for the search at the top of each board to default to that board, since that's what we want 99.9% of the time.

        Would be quicker if we could use board:[number].

        For the San Francisco Bay Area board, board:francisco works but that's kind of long. Is there a shorter substring that will work?

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          I agree.

          If I conduct a search FROM a specific board, why does my search default to all boards? If I was on the Manhattan board and did a search from the search box it used to search for my query only in Manhattan. Now, it defaults to "ALL CHOW" which is not what I expected to happen since I already was on a specific board, so I'm most likely interested in information from that board.

          I would say that most CHers hang out on a handful of specific boards. If I see someone's post about Restaurant X in LA, then I think to myself, oh, wait, there was this other related thread about similar restaurants in LA. And if I do a search, it searches all of CH, which breaks my context. I shouldn't have to memorize "board:LA" or "board:2" to get what I want again.

          To go back to the way it used to work, I have to choose "Boards" and then click on More Options, and then choose "NYC Metro" and then choose "Manhattan." That's SEVEN clicks because everything is in a dropdown menu and it requires more complication than it should.

          In the ALL CHOW dropdown, Boards is at the end of the list, which makes no sense to me since that's the most active part of the community.

          AND if I conduct another search from the search results page, the form has regressed back to Boards, All board groups, All boards. This is awful. Usually I am searching for something specific, and then I change my query to refine my current search. My choices "NYC Metro" and "Manhattan" shouldn't keep changing back to the default!

          This is a very poor user experience.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              YES!!! Really, all I want to be able to do is to search my local board and get results in date order.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            I use Adblock for Firefox to get rid of ads. I'd recommend something similar if you cannot tolerate them.

            1. re: loincloth

              I've got Adblock. I don't mind static ads, they just don't belong in the *middle* of search results.

              The way they're currently presented here, at least on my screen, it's not clear that there are any more search results after the ad, since it's at the very bottom. Took me a while to figure out that the page had more than three results.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                I agree.

                If I do a search for, say, pizza on just the Boards, I only see TWO search results above the fold. If I have More Options open, I see but ONE search result above the fold.

                Also, if I search for "pizza" on just the Boards, i probably don't need to see this text:
                149 blog entries | 10 ingredients | 7 recipes | 3 stories | 37,155 board posts

            2. re: Robert Lauriston

              is there any news on this request:

              "Main problem: When searching from a board, it should default to return results only from that board. It takes a ridiculous number of clicks to get there from the current default."

              it's probably the most painful user experience issue i have to deal with on CH. if i go through the trouble of clicking through to a specific board, it'd be great not to get knocked back to the entire site when i'm doing a search.

              1. re: waxyjax

                If you go to a board, are you entering your search words in the box in the upper right corner? I've not gotten anything other than results from the board I searched on.

                1. re: waxyjax

                  waxyjax, I might suggest starting a new thread with your question or suggestion. This thread (and the post you are responding to) are 7+ years old. I'm sure there have been many changes and updates to the site, and the search function you are inquiring about since the date of this.

              2. It's pretty broken. I can't tell if it's a design problem or a bug, but it's wrong.

                The results are grouped by threads, not posts. Which is kindof ok if you don't mind having to do the old "control-f" search through the entire thread for the relevant post.

                But when you sort the results by date, they are sorted by date the thread was started.

                This is actually *worse* than what you were replacing. Updates to old threads are now completely lost. It still remains impossible to find the latest update about a particular restaurant.

                And finally, even if you ask for it to be sorted by date, it's not actually sorted by date.
                As just one example, go to the San Francisco board. Search for "Limon". Click "more options". Change to "newest first". Click "Search" (should be "refresh"!) again. Note that the order resembles reverse-chronological, but is not.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                  You're right, that's pretty bad. What we want to sort on is the date of the most recent post, not the date it was started.

                  Example: there's a topic on the SF board on "upscale Mexican" that was started on March 17 that has gotten a lot of posts this week.

                  But if you search for "upscale Mexican," and sort by "newest first," it's not even in the first page of results, which is mostly if not entirely less recently updated topics.

                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/382000

                  http://www.chowhound.com/search?searc...

                    1. re: Engineering

                      It's Friday night. You shouldn't be working. Go out and have some nice chow to celebrate all the hard work that went into this release. Tell your boss we said it's ok.

                      Thanks!

                      1. re: Engineering

                        First thanks so much for all of this - and for checking in last night! Did you make some changes last night - I did a couple of searches "newest first" and they were in an odd order, but this morning they seem to be fine. I do agree with others that having "newest first" would be the better default.

                        1. re: MMRuth

                          Being able to limit searches to a time period is GREAT. Thank you! Having "newest first" would definitely be the better default.

                          It would also be better if the sorting options (of which there are only 3) weren't hidden in a dropdown menu. It should be easier to switch between the three views. Google does this well in their blog search:

                          http://blogsearch.google.com/blogsear...

                        2. re: Engineering

                          That appears to be working properly now: "latest first" and "oldest first" are sorted by date of the most recent post.

                          You might consider adding a "date started" sort, that would be useful when looking for a topic you know was started at a particular time (e.g. a report on a birthday meal).

                    2. As that other thread should have made abundantly clear, relevance and newest are one and the same. You should ditch "relevance" (whatever that is) as the default sorting order.

                      1. "more options" remains "more options" even when more options are shown.

                        1. I'm sorry, but maybe i'm dumb .. how do I search on the SF Bay Area board?

                          I'm looking for a place in Vallejo, Ca which falls on the SF board. The only option I have is California. If I enter

                          Vallejo and paletas I come up with one option. There are alot of reports on this place. I also don't want to see every paleta place in California.
                          .
                          A future request. Separate the digest from blogs. It was the one sure way of finding info in search and now it is not working.

                          The other thing ... is there any way to search by poster name. That was an option in the original search of the new software.

                          There is a SF poster who blows ino town once a year and does outstanding reports. I couldn't tell you what he reports about because I just don't remember, but I know that there are times I want to reference his posts.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: rworange

                            One thing they did absolutely right is they made searches bookmarkable. Here's the guy:
                            http://www.chowhound.com/search?searc...

                            As far as how to search a specific board, that's now as hard as possible:
                            1. Enter something in the search box and hit return.
                            2. At the top of the results page, see the drop-down that says "all chow"? Change that to "boards".
                            3. See the greyed out link that says "more options"? Unlike every other user interface element you'll see today, the grey does not mean it's disabled. Click it.
                            4. See the new "board group" drop down that says "All"? Change it to "California".
                            5. Now the greyed out "boards" drop down is no longer greyed out. In this case that actually does mean it's no longer disabled. Change it to "San Francisco"
                            6. You'd expect after all those changes that there would be a "refresh" button. There's not. Click the orange "Search" button again.
                            7. Voila!
                            8. Wait, one more step, change the "sorted by" drop-down to "newest first" since nothing else makes sense and click the search button again.

                            1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                              Cool ... many, many thanks. I'm amazed that without mentioning the name, you knew exactly who I was talking about.

                              I'm guessing where they are going with this, however, is there any way to have the dropdown list of board names rather than having to key 'San Francisco"? I don't really mind the extra steps if it gets more functionality, but it is a drag to have to key the board name when that info is available.

                              1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                "1. Enter something in the search box and hit return.
                                2. At the top of the results page, see the drop-down that says "all chow"? Change that to "boards".
                                3. See the greyed out link that says "more options"? Unlike every other user interface element you'll see today, the grey does not mean it's disabled. Click it.
                                4. See the new "board group" drop down that says "All"? Change it to "California".
                                5. Now the greyed out "boards" drop down is no longer greyed out. In this case that actually does mean it's no longer disabled. Change it to "San Francisco"
                                6. You'd expect after all those changes that there would be a "refresh" button. There's not. Click the orange "Search" button again.
                                7. Voila!
                                8. Wait, one more step, change the "sorted by" drop-down to "newest first" since nothing else makes sense and click the search button again."

                                And:
                                9. If you do another search from the search results page, repeat steps 2-8 again to get back to the SF board!

                                Definitely as hard as possible.

                                1. re: kathryn

                                  So, seriously I'm happy I can get to info that I couln't find for months.

                                  The only thing is I am unable to narrow the search by board. When I select California, the drop down box for Board is blank. I can't key the words "San Francisco" in the box. I'm only getting all posts for California.

                                  It doesn't matter what board group I select. There is a blank drop down list and i can't narrow by board.

                                  I'm on a PC, IE 6

                              2. re: rworange

                                Just do the search on the San Francisco board - as far as I can tell, doing a search on a specific board will bring up results only from that board. Also, just type in the user name as one of the search terms - I don't know that it brings up only posts by that person with the other search terms in it, but it does bring up threads in which both the user and the search term appear.

                                1. re: MMRuth

                                  Sorry - looks like I was wrong about this - must have been b/c I was searching using both my user name and other search terms, and so the only posts on the subject were on the board I was searching from - i.e., Manhattan.