Feature #5148

Enhance usability of AtoM 2.x Advanced Search

Added by Dan Gillean almost 9 years ago. Updated almost 7 years ago.

Status:NewStart date:05/30/2013
Priority:MediumDue date:
Assignee:Dan Gillean% Done:


Category:-Estimated time:5.00 hours
Target version:-
Sponsored:No Tested version:


Usability notes for consideration in future iterations of the advanced search interface:

1) Ideally, an option to clear all fields and perform a new search would be provided, that would also collapse the and/or/not added fields back to the initial display. Currently a user must reconfigure the page manually for a new search, or go back up to the search bar and click through to advanced search again. A simple button that would reset all fields (that reloaded the page, basically) would enhance usability when a user is not finding what they want with the first query

2) Depending on screen size, it can be hard to even notice that a search has been performed - if the user has added several boolean additions to the query (ie, let's say 3 and/or/not fields), then the area where the results are returned is out of view - the user might not know that the results are there, and they must scroll down to them. Perhaps if there is some way of a) loading the page with the first of the search results at the top, or b) indicating to the user that the search has been performed and that the results are below, would help.

3) What if a user wants results that are either Fonds OR collection, but nothing else? Ideally, the dropdowns could also function as multiple selects - otherwise the user must repeat the same query twice to ensure that they have seen all results for what is, in effect, the same level of description.

4) Finally, since the right hand side of the page is not being used by the usual context menu items (e.g., export, etc), we should consider adding help text that outlines the wildcards we support: * for example...

For documentation on advanced search wildcard characters and boolean operators supported in AtoM, see:

See also the helpful page created by the Vancouver City Archives, with a table of "Power Users' search" midway down the page: http://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/about

Wireframes will be added to this issue at a later date.

Related issues

Related to Access to Memory (AtoM) - Feature #4391: Advance search is broken in 2.x Verified 12/03/2012
Related to AtoM Wishlist - Feature #5279: Include relevant search facets in advanced search menu Verified 06/25/2013


#1 Updated by Dan Gillean almost 9 years ago

  • Description updated (diff)

#2 Updated by Dan Gillean almost 9 years ago

  • Target version changed from Release 2.1.0 to Release 2.0.0

#3 Updated by Jesús García Crespo almost 9 years ago

  • Estimated time set to 5.00

#4 Updated by Jesús García Crespo over 8 years ago

  • Target version changed from Release 2.0.0 to Release 2.1.0

1) I think that you can do that now by clicking the Reset button, can't you?
2) As it is now, if there are results the browser scrolls down automatically, but definitely improvable

Moving to 2.1, where we can revisit all the browsing/search interfaces and consider a design overhaul, support for multiple entities from the advanced search, etc...

#5 Updated by Jesús García Crespo over 8 years ago

  • Assignee changed from Jesús García Crespo to Dan Gillean

You're in charge of the interface design! :)

#6 Updated by Dan Gillean over 8 years ago

Hi Jesus,

Yes, the addition of the Reset button was a great improvement, thanks! I've also related this to issue #5279. After the 2.0 launch I will work on some wireframes to consider how we can take advantage of these usability improvements in the advanced search menu. The addition of the filter by fonds, and eventually, the datepicker filter, will also help this be a powerful module.

#7 Updated by Dan Gillean over 8 years ago

We will also need to consider how accented characters are handled in search query results, and other optimizations of elasticsearch's defaults.

#8 Updated by Jesús García Crespo over 7 years ago

  • Target version changed from Release 2.1.0 to Release 2.2.0

#9 Updated by Sarah Romkey about 7 years ago

  • Target version deleted (Release 2.2.0)

#10 Updated by Dan Gillean almost 7 years ago

  • Project changed from Access to Memory (AtoM) to AtoM Wishlist
  • Category deleted (Usability)

Moved to AtoM wishlist until sponsored for inclusion.

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