Opened 11 years ago

Closed 11 years ago

#354 closed improve feature (fixed)

Three possible views + session store of results for searchmembers page

Reported by: micha Owned by: micha
Priority: major Milestone: 0.1.4
Component: BW Search Keywords: search searchmembers map view list results
Cc: Micha, midsch

Description

From my perspective, the answer to the reports that people don't find the results on the searchmemberspage should be the following:

We have to provide a map-view where the results show up next to the map. Unfortunately our resultslist is quite huge right now, so I would vote for two versions of the page that are switchable.

x) One with a wider list and a smaller map

x) One with a thin list (less details) and a bigger map

We can set a default for all users and still let people change this setting in their preferences. Still they should be able to switch the views dynamically.

A good example for this is GoogleMaps? itself: http://maps.google.com/

Change History (41)

comment:1 Changed 11 years ago by micha

  • Owner set to micha
  • Status changed from new to assigned

comment:2 Changed 11 years ago by micha

  • Type changed from bug to improve feature

comment:3 follow-up: Changed 11 years ago by philipp

we need to find a good way to make it pretty obvious that you can switch views - I haven't been aware of this possibility in gmaps until now.

comment:4 Changed 11 years ago by lemon-head

I'd say this needs some mockups before we implement anything!

comment:5 Changed 11 years ago by micha

  • follow_up changed from none to test
  • freq_reported set to 1
  • show_on_bw set to 0
  • Summary changed from Provide two possible views of the searchmembers page (like on googlemaps) to Three possible views + session store of results for searchmembers page

I will add more stuff to this ticket (but can't change its title unfortunately...). Those include:

  • three possible views (map,mixed,text)
  • last results stored in session and loaded on reload of searchmembers page
  • a clean layout

Just committed with rev. 4136. Please test & give lots of feedback!

comment:6 Changed 11 years ago by midsch

Notes from a paranoid:

  • I use the "no script"-Addon for firefox. By default all scripts are blocked. I'm aware of it and know where to switch it, but I think it's usefull anyway to show a message when scripts are disabled (and maybe a link to a howto-enable-javascript in common browsers). A user also has to know, that scripts are from BW AND google.
  • Where are the flags in the maps located? We can't simply use the user adress, without asking him/her! it's not only a matter of privacy, it's a serious security concern! Stalkers, criminals ... from the profiles it's easy to find out if someone is living alone or not. also if the user is travelling (empty flat!). Exact location should be a option, but not default (proper warnings should be provided).

For a fancy search function the scripts are acceptable, but what about mobile devices? do the all support scripts? Maybe we need a simple textsearch as well?

Here are some more notes/feedback from using the search at test:

  • Switch from views: Once I got a search result that is not identical to my last result in search, there are no value, so I don't know what kind of result it is. I'd expect either my last search transfered to the new view or a clean new one (first option prefered). I switched around a lot and can't reproduce it, now I always get the last result in another view but with out the search values.

Some random testing in textview

Some random testing in mapview:

  • search for hamburg shows three results, but only two flags

Lacking time for more.

comment:7 Changed 11 years ago by midsch

  • Cc midsch added

comment:8 Changed 11 years ago by micha

Just uploaded further improvements, also on some of the things you mentioned (Non-javascript-error-message e.g.). Will comment on the rest later on. Thanks for the feedback, midsch!

comment:9 Changed 11 years ago by globetrotter_tt

First of all this is a big improvement to the search that we have now in bw.

  • the link "x members displayed of x found" leads to "#memberlist"
  • in the future it mightbe better to show only markers for the cities (with a link to the according page) and markers for member who made their address public (then the markers should point to the right location instead the citycentre of course). It does not make that much sense to display hundreds of members on the same spot.

for more testing it would be also good to have a bigger test db. Is there any possibility to populate the test db with some thousands random profiles ?

comment:10 Changed 11 years ago by globetrotter_tt

  • Having a possibility to sort the search results afterwards would be also neat.
  • The pagination could also need an improvement.
  • The accommodation icons for the searchresults in "mapview" look a bit chaotic

comment:11 in reply to: ↑ 3 Changed 11 years ago by globetrotter_tt

Replying to philipp:

we need to find a good way to make it pretty obvious that you can switch views - I haven't been aware of this possibility in gmaps until now.

I think it is quiet obvious now, but maybe you were refering to a former version

comment:12 Changed 11 years ago by matrixpoint

Your upgrade looks very nice, Micha, and seems to work well. I like the smoothly appearing advanced search section, and the use of the left column with a scroll bar to display member summaries.

I just have a few questions/bugs, and then a few suggestions.

  1. The result link doesn't work (the link that says Loading... at first, then reports the number of members found). We might not even need the linking to the results part of this anymore.
  1. When I click on some of the buttons in the orange area, I noticed that if I don't move the pointer away, the button remains solid orange (a CSS problem?)
  1. The small map (mixed view) seems too small to really be useful. The copyright message at the bottom of the map overflows on my screen. And the pop-ups that appear when I click on a member marker don't fit inside the map boundaries. So, I wonder how useful this small map is. I understand some people were concerned about bandwidth, but I would favor a medium fixed-size map (or a choice between that and the current adaptable map), or even no mixed setting at all, just big map and no map. I suspect that you had to make it this small to make room for the expanded 7-column result set. There might be a compromise where the size of this result set is reduced or available through an overlay.
  1. Another argument for removing the mixed option is that as the page is, it takes some time to figure it out. Very powerful with many options, but a little intimidating. It's a little disorienting to see the result set sometimes on the left, sometimes on the right, sometimes detailed, sometimes a summary. Big map/small map. So, I would feel better with something that doesn't change appearance so drastically, even if there is less flexibility.

Suggestions:

  1. Move the "Clear map" button to the right of "Search Results" and change the name to "Clear results"
  1. Possibly overwrite the directions when displaying the results in the left column, rather than pushing them down.
  1. Do away with the marker pop-ups and instead highlight members in the result list when a member marker is clicked. I tried grouping markers, but I could only fit about 12 members into a single pop-up, and that's with a big map. I will try to find a solution for this.
  1. Eliminate the full 7-column detailed member results display and use a pop-up/overlay to show individual member details when a map marker is clicked (or moused-over) or when a member summary is clicked or (or moused-over). I will think about a solution for this.

John

comment:13 Changed 11 years ago by midsch

Feedback from feuerdaemon (by mail):

  • The link from the result (4 members displayed of 4 found) links alway to (http://test.bewelcome.org/#memberlist) but you came alway to the index page (no matter if you're loged in or not)
  • Keep the three possible views-buttons (map,mixed,text) left formated. It's quicker to find, when the navigation after a view-change is in the same area.
  • Make it better spotable, what view is actually selected. Maybe also a "tab-style"
  • Maybe chance the text in "Hide advanced search" from the link or hide it, after clicking on "Advanced search".
  • Spell error in "HIde advanced search"
  • "move in" and "move out" of the advanced search is kind of sluggish. Maybe dont't move the whole way up and down, just let appear 90% of the box and move the rest. -> that's quicker and also semms like a "complete move"

comment:14 Changed 11 years ago by micha

Answering midsch (#1) on

Where are the flags in the maps located?

Flags (let's say markers) are located by default in a location's centre. If members set their detailed addresses not to "hidden", their markers will show up on the address they provided. So I don't see a security/privacy concern here.

Maybe we need a simple textsearch as well?

Yes, we need it! It's already there: searchmembers/quicksearch . Also accessible through the search in the upper right. At best we could integrate this one better with our advanced search but I won't be able to do that now. Volunteers?

"clear values" doesn't clear location

I'm not sure wether this should clear the location. Currently it's a button within the grey advanced field. We could extend it to the main search field above but mmmh, don't know.

search for hamburg shows three results, but only two flags

John introduced "grouped markers". One of the markers unites two members. Click on them and you will see. We should improve this "grouping" visually though.

comment:15 follow-up: Changed 11 years ago by micha

Answering John:

  1. Do away with the marker pop-ups and instead highlight members in the result list when a member marker is clicked. I tried grouping markers, but I could only fit about 12 members into a single pop-up, and that's with a big map. I will try to find a solution for this.

1) I favour a solution where we show the number of members instantly on the marker IF we group members. I like the idea with the highlighting.

Answering feuerdaemon:

Keep the three possible views-buttons (map,mixed,text) left formated. It's quicker to find, when the navigation after a view-change is in the same area.

I think it should go with the maps and if the maps are small, it should stick next to it.

Make it better spotable, what view is actually selected. Maybe also a "tab-style"

I think in general we shouldn't overrate the disorientation of the user here. If a user clicks on another "view", we can suppose that he already expects a different layout. And once he got the idea of the view-links, he will find them again and know where he is. E.g.: It's obvious that he is in "mapoff"-mode when he views no map! We also have to keep in mind to focus on the content (the search entry field and the results + map) rather than other stuff. What do you say?

Maybe chance the text in "Hide advanced search" from the link or hide it, after clicking on "Advanced search".

Yes, agree. It's just that I'm not a javascript-freak and don't know exactly how to deal with all that "hide/switch/change"-stuff. If there is one out there, please help to improve the javascript on the site!

"move in" and "move out" of the advanced search is kind of sluggish. Maybe dont't move the whole way up and down, just let appear 90% of the box and move the rest. -> that's quicker and also semms like a "complete move"

I don't get this suggestion at all. What do you mean with "just let appear 90% of the box" and so on? The effect is based on scriptaculous-effects. I don't really know how to change them and actually I don't really think it would boost performance on this.

comment:16 in reply to: ↑ 15 Changed 11 years ago by philipp

Replying to micha:

Make it better spotable, what view is actually selected. Maybe also a "tab-style"

I think in general we shouldn't overrate the disorientation of the user here. If a user clicks on another "view", we can suppose that he already expects a different layout. And once he got the idea of the view-links, he will find them again and know where he is. E.g.: It's obvious that he is in "mapoff"-mode when he views no map! We also have to keep in mind to focus on the content (the search entry field and the results + map) rather than other stuff. What do you say?

well in general I agree. however I am not sure if the members spot them in the first place. at least I never realized those links on gmaps - and they are placed at pretty much the same place. But maybe it's just me who is blind. anyhow placing of these links is not of top priority right now

priority right now should imho be:

  • markers / grouping and the suggested highlighting
  • improved text view
  • integration of the text/quick search into the advanced search (ending up on the text view of advanced search)
  • adding a preference setting to keep the map off

however it could go to production before this is solved

comment:17 follow-up: Changed 11 years ago by midsch

Another question from feuerdaemon (my translation from german):

Will this replace http://www.bewelcome.org/country - It would be a pity to loose the country listing? This listing could replace "Mixed View"?

(Right now there is no google map visible on test at all, hopefully Micha is just working hard on it;)

comment:18 Changed 11 years ago by matrixpoint

The map works now. The problem was that there were some apostrophes in the javascript text. They need to be escaped somehow. I used ' and it works.

comment:19 in reply to: ↑ 17 ; follow-up: Changed 11 years ago by micha

Replying to midsch:

Will this replace http://www.bewelcome.org/country - It would be a pity to loose the country listing? This listing could replace "Mixed View"?

It was planned to improve the country-listing and make it a standalone geo/places-application that is enriched with user-generated wiki-content. We definitely need to link the country-app from the searchmembers-app but I'm not sure if a subtab in the teaser is the right way to go. Replacing the "Mixed view" with the country-app is not a good idea imho. We have to focus and simplifying and improving the search-app itself instead of further integrating foreign tools. Any other suggestions where/how to link the country-app? Maybe just a button or a normal link in the teaser?

comment:20 in reply to: ↑ 19 Changed 11 years ago by feuerdaemon

Replying to micha:

. I don't get this suggestion at all. What do you mean with "just let appear 90% of the box" and so on? The effect is based on scriptaculous-effects. I don't really know how to change them and actually I don't really think it would boost performance on this.

Ok right now we haw a div container which you cannot see (0%) after a klick you roll down to full view (100%). I thought after a click just let appear (set div position to 90%) and then roll down the last 10% to the full 100%. Cause it's a Java funktion the client dont have to calculate the movement all the way down to 100% - only the rest (10%). That means much less to calculate and faster. On slow computers it's more smoothy. But you trick the eyes that it "seems" that it roll almost the 100% and not just appear from somewhere.

Replying to micha:

. Any other suggestions where/how to link the country-app? Maybe just a button or a normal link in the teaser?

I think that will do the job.

comment:21 Changed 11 years ago by matrixpoint

I'm working on the searchmembers page. I'm working on several aspects of it, but already I'm feeling strongly that the small-map mode is not very useful, and as a third option (large map, no map, small map) in addition to the other two searches (quick search, country search) it adds unnecessary complexity. I don't think we need five major variations of the search function.

I think the two reasons for the small map mode are quicker loading time and better visibility of the detailed search results.

The quicker download has to be weighed against the reduced usefulness of a small map, and besides a significant portion of the initial overhead is required just by the geocoder javascript that is downloaded anyway from Google. (The download time saved by the small map becomes more important if the map is repeatedly shifted/zoomed.)

The visibility problem can be handled by providing a link to instantly hide the large map, moving the detailed search results up in its place. This mode will persist for additional searches on the same page refresh. This way, the detailed results will always be in the right-hand column, reducing confusion. The left-hand column can be used for help and displaying avatars when a map marker is clicked on (including multiple avatars for cities with multiple members).

The large map can be reduced in size to a more moderate and fixed size, reducing download time.

For situations where there is a real bandwidth problem, I like Philipp's idea of a site-wide bandwidth setting determined at login (by selection or a preference) which would make the default member search either the 'text view' or perhaps better (because of the geocoder overhead) an improved version of the quick search (which can also more easily be adapted to hand-held devices).

I've uploaded these suggested changes for review in r4254. I'm still working on some other aspects.

comment:22 Changed 11 years ago by matrixpoint

Added context sensitive help for the text-input fields in r4267.

comment:23 Changed 11 years ago by philipp

It's amazing what you guys are doing - we will get an fantastic search!

I like the idea to display the details for the parker you klick in the left bar instead of an popup - if we could change the color (or other ways highlight) of the active marker it would be even nicer.

I am not convinced about having the search results again below the map - when I am doing a search I am looking for results and it is just not convenient and counterintuitive if you have to scroll down to see that there is a result list.

I would suggest to remove the volunteer sidebar, it's just distracting.

Could we store the settings from advanced search as preferences? it is just annoying (on most pages on the web) that you have to increase the number of displayed hits for every single search (or at least visit of the page)

Could we make the columns sortable by clicking on the column header (Actually I would like to centralize the creation of a sortable memberlisting so that it can be used for all applications)

It's not obvious that there is a difference between "Hide/show map to shift detailed search results up/down" and "text view"

If we keep the map on top of the result list there should be pagination links next to the map - otherwise you have to scroll down to get the next set of members displayed on the list

comment:24 Changed 11 years ago by micha

Good to see you working on search, John!

My suggestions to your changes:

1)I think we really loose the space on the right now. Why not largen the map again? It's useful to me and to correct Philipps problems, we should better try to track the closest members around the center-point of the map instead of removing the large map.

2)In my opinion, one of the major improvements of my new draft was the fact that we had the result of the member search directly visible for the user. I strongly oppose to just put them back to the bottom again. If it is just because we want consistency here (not switching results from left to right on view-change), I can only say that a user would be irritated too, when he would have to look for his results below the map and not where they were in text view: directly underneath the teaser. To quote you and talk about "unnecessary complexity": Don't you think it's rather complex and unintuitive to click on a link after the search to see your results? Come on, this can be much easier. I can't even do both at a time: look at the map and bring them together with the members there with the details about them. Please, give me back my results on the left :P

3) I like the idea to click on one of the markers and get the info about the member on the left. With the result-list back on the left again we could have a vertical "door-effect" actually. So the normal state would be a list with short info about members on the left and when you click on a member in the list or on the map, then it's pane in the list opens up and you see more details, the profile summary and such.

comment:25 Changed 11 years ago by micha

I just saw your latest commit: context sensitive help

I like it a lot. Unfortunately you can't see much of it when you unfold the "advanced search". This is partly my fault as I introduced this big grey thingy there. Any idea how to make the info more visible? Maybe we have to change the position of the "Advanced search"-options again?

comment:26 Changed 11 years ago by matrixpoint

Thanks for the feedback, Philipp and Micha.

Next I'm going to look at the page links and re-sorting the results, then come back to the layout questions. Maybe there will be more feedback about that in the meantime.

comment:27 Changed 11 years ago by philipp

actually I think we should get some feedback from members - unfortunately test is still not public but we could start a thread in the forum asking what the members expect when using the search

comment:28 Changed 11 years ago by matrixpoint

As you know, I'm a big proponent of community-based development, but didn't have time to move more in that direction before now. But, considering that the community is still very small, and there is no public test server, and there's so many obvious things to improve right now, I'd advocate another round (as we are doing) of mostly internal development, then go into a more community-based mode. But certainly, it would be great to have at least volunteer tester involvement at this stage.

comment:29 Changed 11 years ago by midsch

Your work is more than visible, it's amazing.

Some more stuff:

  • switching between text view and map view always closes advanced search and deletes all values (but keeps the result)
  • a search for hamburg, germany find three members, but only one is on the map (same with "map boundaries")
  • I checked all sort criteria, everything works but forward/reverse is wrong for countries (forward should start with "a")
  • What's default sort order? And how do I go back to it?
  • Order by user name? (Could be handy if you don't know the exact name)
  • Wildcard "*" works with user name (wu* finds wukk), but should be explained somewhere
  • Wildcard in location: "ham*, germany" finds everyone in germany (ok, but a bit weird)

(have to go to bed now ...)

comment:30 Changed 11 years ago by micha

Somehow we have to go on here. I hoped, John (matrixpoint) would go on improving the searchmembers but now he left the project for personal reasons. We have to decide about two main things from my point of view before moving these changes to alpha:

1) Where do we want our results in map-view? Next to the map or underneath it?

2) Do we want more than the two options "Map off" and "Map on"?

comment:31 Changed 11 years ago by philipp

1) my impression from feeback is that we should put it next to the map, so lets go for this and keep an eye on the members reaction

2) if we can create a useful small map (well focussed, good zoom level) I would suggest:

a) big map with a small column of results (with limited information displayed) - click on a marker of entry shows more detailed information as vcard b) small map with big wide column of detailed results c) low bandwith / map off (this would limit the search to text only as well to prevent loading of the map in the background) - the result list should look like the small map view just without map.

later quicksearch should be nothing more than a form field that starts a normal search (maybe with some additional switches such as restrict to groups if you are on the group page) and end up on the normal search results page

comment:32 Changed 11 years ago by philipp

some more feedback after the latest fantastic improvements form micha:

  • when I reach the page from the quicksearch I get the text view, which is fine. however when I switch to map view my search result is lost. the link to the map view has either to be hidden or preferably the quicksearch should function exactly like the main search (to be more specific, it should just be a form field that is diaplayed on other pages but using the same code)
  • imho the map is to wide again. on widescreens this makes search by map not really useful (you can't focus on a nice reagion to limit the result (for example zooming in to the hight of span I get an east - west coverage from spain to croatia on my screen)
  • some ascending / descending arrows for the sort order would be very convenient.
  • the idcard of the member clicked on the map is displayed at the bottom of the list where you easily miss it. it should preferably be dispalyed on top - seperated from the scrollable list.
  • if possible the view switcher and sort field should be displayed seperately form the scrollable list as well

  • the "search by map boundary" button is not very visible - maybe it would get some more attention when placed next to the main search button.

but all this is minor stuff - it's already amazing and I am sure that it can go online pretty soon!

comment:33 Changed 11 years ago by philipp

wow wow wow! so you could solve the nasty js bug? Fantastic!

I would say this is alpha ready! Maybe some minor things to be done before move and test on alpha:

  • remove the "search help" text at the bottom of the result list
  • if possible, increase the bounding box of the map markers pop ups to make sure that the map is moved down to allow full display of pop ups in the upper part of the map (currently the name and x for closing are cut off)
  • fix display of overlaying markers (currently you see one circle with all numbers written on it, check paris or vitré)

Some smaller general improvements I would suggest (not release critical):

  • some of the things mentioned in my last comment
  • add pagination links to the top of the result list in addition to the ones at the bottom
  • remove volunteer tools bar
  • display a "no members in this area" or "location not found" notice to make clear what happened

Some general improvements:

  • improve text result display

Anyhow - this is so so so much better than what we have online, lets bring it to the people!

comment:34 Changed 11 years ago by micha

Alright, I think I have this alpha-ready. Could someone please test it to see if there are still big problems. Otherwise, I would push this to alpha to test it with more members on the map!

comment:35 Changed 11 years ago by philipp

  • follow_up changed from test to move to alpha

alpha ready,

some small bugs I encountered:

  • pagination links are not always working (not reproducible pattern)
  • on small screens (when the end of the map and list is below the fold) you have to sroll down twice (first main window, than result list) to get to the pagination links
  • sort order wrong in some cases (for example accomodation - no is listed first)
  • orange highlighting of the not active display type (map / text) is confusing for me - I would expect it the other way round
  • help texts do not always disapear when you leave the field.

comment:36 Changed 11 years ago by feuerdaemon

I just want to make a small reminder for ticket #100, that it can be closed, if the new search is in production. (I don't think you thought about to implement the "phone-number-showing-feature" :p )

comment:37 follow-up: Changed 11 years ago by globetrotter_tt

one smalle note:

  • the colored "accommodation info buttons" in mapview would look nicer if they were aligned to the right. what about the size of them ? in the future there might be more than 1000 members in one city. will big numbers fit into the small circles ?

comment:38 in reply to: ↑ 37 Changed 11 years ago by micha

Replying to globetrotter_tt:

one smalle note:

  • the colored "accommodation info buttons" in mapview would look nicer if they were aligned to the right. what about the size of them ? in the future there might be more than 1000 members in one city. will big numbers fit into the small circles ?

No worries, as we only display a maximum of 100 members,the numbers on the markers will never have more than 99 (ok, 100!) digits. But I agree, we could think of different icon-sizes in general. What I still favour would be an implementation of the open source GMarker Manager for the maps. Using this, we could "group" members and show far more than 100 members (maybe around 50.000 easily) on the map. I plan to use this feature in the trip-application aswell.

comment:39 Changed 11 years ago by henri

(suggestion) If you go first time on search page we could add a static map which loads the dynamic one after adding your search settings and hit the search button (or whatever) see: http://gmaps-samples.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/staticmaps/multiplemarkers.html and click into the map.

even better: http://www.nearby.org.uk/google/static4.php

comment:40 Changed 11 years ago by philipp

  • follow_up changed from move to alpha to release

worked fine on test and is far better than what we have on production. alpha is down (and I assume it will stay down for a while) and as I don't see major issues here i label it ready for production. please move it and give our members access to this great improvement

comment:41 Changed 11 years ago by micha

  • follow_up changed from release to none
  • Resolution set to fixed
  • Status changed from assigned to closed

moved to production in rev. [4453]

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