Loomio
November 18th, 2015 00:18

Search in Loomio

Matthew Bartlett
Matthew Bartlett Public Seen by 494

Hi Loomio Community :)

I'm working on the design of our search feature in our new interface. (By the way, if you're a longtime Loomio user and not already on the new interface, you can switch it on here.)

I'd love to understand a bit about how people are using search in Loomio.

  • Do you use it at all?
  • Does it do a good job of finding what you're looking for?
  • What kinds of thing do you want to be able to search for?
  • Do you lose stuff on Loomio?

If you're moved to respond, it would be really interesting to also know whether you're new to Loomio, or an old hand; and whether you usually use Loomio on a phone or computer.

Thanks for your help!
Matthew Henry John Bartlett

Previous discussions on this topic
https://www.loomio.org/d/3SLm7V0D/searching-for-content-from-past-messages
https://www.loomio.org/d/5DW3EdGp/search-for-anything
https://www.loomio.org/d/3n2DgHGJ/search

James Wilson

James Wilson November 19th, 2015 20:34

I do use search on both phone and computer. Often I simply enter a key word, which can lead to a long list being offered.
I do lose stuff on Loomio
I am reasonably "old hand"

Matthew Bartlett

Matthew Bartlett November 19th, 2015 20:36

thanks James! What kinds of things are you hoping to be able to get when you search?

James Wilson

James Wilson November 19th, 2015 20:42

Sorry to be vague but generally old posts that I suddenly want to recall. With so many discussions going on, it is hard to remember which discussion a certain post is residing.

Harry Knight

Harry Knight November 25th, 2015 22:39

Hey @matthewbartlett

I haven't used the search once. I'm not sure if it's just because I don't have heaps of discussions yet as I'm only just starting to use it with colleagues. I can see the value more with discovering other groups that I might want to engage with. Like the Loomio community. There is clearly a lot more threads happening so I imagine search will soon be needed for that. For discovery not so much for lost items.

Greg Cassel

Greg Cassel November 25th, 2015 23:11

FYI I've often searched for old threads on Loomio, but I swear I'm always in a mad rush when I do it and I never stop to think about the meta of how it (apparently) works. It has worked well for me generally. I'm pretty good at keyword based searches in general, and sometimes I remember the thread titles.

I figure an ideal search would enable the application of keywords as metadata tags, or at least some prioritization of the text in the Context box. (Maybe it already does?) Certainly, post titles deserve priority, but key words aren't always in the titles.

JK

James Kiesel November 25th, 2015 23:45

As it stands now, we weight several things in a thread when searching for it, with the thread title being the most heavily weighted, followed by content in the context, the proposals, and the comments (in that order)

We tweaked the weights of comments down a little recently, and thread title / context up, which was nice because I think some searches were getting overwhelmed with comment content (IE just because a 1000-comment thread has the word 'organisation' in it 100 times, doesn't mean it's more important than a thread entitled 'What's next for our organisation?'

Greg Cassel

Greg Cassel November 25th, 2015 23:48

Wow James that's great perspective thanks! I could've sworn Loomio search was better recently, but I imagine a lot of things. :)

Mikey

Mikey November 30th, 2015 20:47

Do you use it at all?

yes.

Does it do a good job of finding what you’re looking for?

no, the search almost never helps me find what i'm looking for.

What kinds of thing do you want to be able to search for?

i most often want to find old discussions bsaed on vague memories.

Do you lose stuff on Loomio?

yes, but if it's important i'll manually browse through the group discussions and that way find what i'm looking for.

E

elaineX November 30th, 2015 21:04

I've not been using loomio for about a year, yet it looks great, the update is really nice. I'll let you know as I get back to doing stuff here. Thanks!

Alanna Irving

Alanna Irving December 1st, 2015 02:37

I would definitely use an "advanced search" option where you could search by author, date range, limit to certain groups/subgroups, etc.

Silvia Zuur

Silvia Zuur December 2nd, 2015 01:15

Do you use it at all?
YES!
Does it do a good job of finding what you're looking for?
No! The other day (I told @richarddbartlett about this issue - when looking for a recent discussion within Enspiral I searched using the word I knew was in the title but it didn't even come up)
What kinds of thing do you want to be able to search for?
Title, Person who posted it, date range
Do you lose stuff on Loomio?
Yes!

Danyl Strype

Danyl Strype January 26th, 2016 05:32

As an old sod who has been using Loomio pretty much since the beginning, and is a member of many groups, I think search is an essential function. Yes, I do sometimes lose stuff on Loomio. Sometimes I do find what I'm looking for with the existing search function, but more often I'm overwhelmed with non-targets results, which often turn into time-consuming distractions.

There are at least three kinds of search I'd like to be able to choose between when I search:
* search within a particular group: usually as others have said, I have a vague memory of a stalled discussion and I'm trying to find it again. Usually, so I can re-activate it, rather than reinvent the wheel, or because there is a useful link that was posted there.
* search across all my groups: I'm working on a particular project or issue, and I want to know what has been said or decided about it across all the Loomio groups I'm a member of.
* search across the all public Loomio groups: I'm working on a particular project or issue, and I want to know what has been said or decided about it across all the public-facing discussions in Loomio groups

This last one breaks down into two layers; search across one Loomio server (eg Loomio.org) and search across the whole Loomio network, although I'm not sure if there's been any work on integration between different Loomio servers yet.

Josir Cardoso Gomes

Josir Cardoso Gomes January 26th, 2016 11:15

Hi Mathew,

I try to use but with no sucess. As I am a group admin, I receive a lot of complaints about the search either.

Could you explain how the search works ? What words were not searchable for instance ?

My strategy to overcome this limitation is to use hashtags on every post that I consider sensitive to find it later.

If you need "use cases" to improve the search, I will be glad to help.

Danyl Strype

Danyl Strype January 26th, 2016 16:38

#hashtagsareuseful :P

Matthew Bartlett

Matthew Bartlett January 26th, 2016 21:17

@jameskiesel mind explaining a bit about how the present search works?