Author Topic: For discussion - graphical advanced search  (Read 3479 times)

Offline carlseibert

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For discussion - graphical advanced search
« on: May 01, 2019, 03:12:38 PM »
Does anybody else find it interesting that there is not a mob with pitchforks and torches demanding a graphical advanced search tool? Nary a post....

As for me, personally, I don't really care. The discovery that I could just type my search in the box however I want and click enter just made my day. I don't need no stinkin' repeater dialog.

But I can't help thinking that such a thing might be a good thing in terms of making PM+ more accessible to new users.

Assuming that Kirk agrees that (someday) this might be valuable, there is the question of what it should look like. Usually, they're repeaters. But maybe there's a better way.

One thing that I often see that does seem to work pretty well is pulldowns (or radio buttons) for choosing operators, you have [whatever] - pulldown - [next thing]. The pulldowns translate Booleans into ordinary language. Teaching new users the concepts of AND and OR has always been a challenge/nightmare.  On the other hand, some flowery language in an application that leaves me scratching my head wondering, "Does that mean this or that?" makes me crazy.

If such a dialog ever comes to be constructed, my only clever suggestion would be that it show the actual query being constructed, like the way the rename dialog does. Thus, the next time or the time after, the user could just type his or her query in the search box and be done with it.

Am I just being silly here? Ideas?




Offline Luiz Muzzi

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Re: For discussion - graphical advanced search
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2019, 03:21:50 PM »
Hi,
I am an amateur photographer and a newbie in terms of catalogue. It really is a bit difficult for me to understand the concepts of a catalogue, the "and" and the "or" features, among other things.
So I think that any help for us newbies is more than welcome.
Thanks a lot for bringing up the discussion.
Regards,
- Luiz Muzzi

Online Kirk Baker

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Re: For discussion - graphical advanced search
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2019, 03:31:30 PM »
Does anybody else find it interesting that there is not a mob with pitchforks and torches demanding a graphical advanced search tool? Nary a post....

As for me, personally, I don't really care. The discovery that I could just type my search in the box however I want and click enter just made my day. I don't need no stinkin' repeater dialog.

But I can't help thinking that such a thing might be a good thing in terms of making PM+ more accessible to new users.

Assuming that Kirk agrees that (someday) this might be valuable, there is the question of what it should look like. Usually, they're repeaters. But maybe there's a better way.

One thing that I often see that does seem to work pretty well is pulldowns (or radio buttons) for choosing operators, you have [whatever] - pulldown - [next thing]. The pulldowns translate Booleans into ordinary language. Teaching new users the concepts of AND and OR has always been a challenge/nightmare.  On the other hand, some flowery language in an application that leaves me scratching my head wondering, "Does that mean this or that?" makes me crazy.

If such a dialog ever comes to be constructed, my only clever suggestion would be that it show the actual query being constructed, like the way the rename dialog does. Thus, the next time or the time after, the user could just type his or her query in the search box and be done with it.

Am I just being silly here? Ideas?

Isn't the Filter system basically what you've described, Carl?  Each stage of the Filter is an AND with the other filter stages.  Selecting multiple items in a filter stage is an OR among those items.

-Kirk

Offline syncrasy

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Re: For discussion - graphical advanced search
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2019, 03:49:13 PM »
Is this what we're talking about? (Media Pro's Find dialog):

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Offline syncrasy

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Re: For discussion - graphical advanced search
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2019, 04:06:15 PM »
Graphical menu-driven dialogs, used appropriately, can benefit both new users and expert users. It's not about dumbing down anything. It's all about usability. In my experience, a graphical menu-driven dialog is a superior UI solution for a Boolean search/find tool for many reasons (e.g., better integration of search field + operator + value, more natural cognitive mapping, lighter cognitive load, more efficient use of screen real estate, etc.).
« Last Edit: May 02, 2019, 10:00:06 AM by syncrasy »
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Online Kirk Baker

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Re: For discussion - graphical advanced search
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2019, 04:20:05 PM »
Is this what we're talking about? (Media Pro's Find dialog):

What did the Wrap checkbox do?

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Offline syncrasy

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Re: For discussion - graphical advanced search
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2019, 04:34:37 PM »
Is this what we're talking about? (Media Pro's Find dialog):
What did the Wrap checkbox do?

Good question! I could never figure it out myself (it's not explained the User's Guide). I just tried various combinations of Wrap/No Wrap with the results display drop-down menu options, and I still can't figure it out.

Edit: Got the answer from Phase One: "[Wrap] applies to things like find next, which operated directionally...  For instance, if you are on the last image that meets the search criteria and you find next, then wrap will go back to the beginning of the catalog.  If Wrap is off, then it would not go back to the beginning."
« Last Edit: May 02, 2019, 10:13:43 AM by syncrasy »
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Offline carlseibert

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Re: For discussion - graphical advanced search
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2019, 09:49:04 AM »
Syncracy - yeah, that's a better than average version, IMHO. I like that you can put an operator on each row. Most of them either do all ANDs, which is fine, I guess, or let you do all ORs, which after the second term is useful about .00000001% of the time. (Says a guy who once built a query that had over 100 ORs in it. But even my 100 OR query had a couple ANDs and NOTs.  ;-)

Obviously, just typing what you want in a search box is about a zillion times easier once you know how it works. Which is why I think it would be way cool if such a tool showed you the query.

Kirk - Ah, durr, I dunno. I basically cruised right by that feature. I thought, "Oh, filters. Instead of the widgets on the contact sheets", and moved on. I didn't see the search box, which I only now see on Keywords. (Which doesn't seem to be working at the moment, BTW.) But yes, once all the relevant fields, like the caption(!), are there, that's pretty much the thing. Maybe with the ability to specify an OR, or particularly a NOT for individual rows. It would be nice if the user could put a few terms ANDed together in the find box. So she could do "john smith" instead of "john" on one row and "smith" on the next. Or maybe "john smith" should be an exact phrase instead. There's a topic for debate.

There's a thread elsewhere where somebody complained that that tool is cramped in the left rail. Maybe it should jump out as a big model, like the Template dialog. And if that were to be the case, I'd like to see a duplicate Quick Search box in it, so it would be one stop shopping.