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Improve clarity of search fields tracks / features #611
I did some work, as can be seen in this sandbox:
I think this is definitely an improvement. Here are some thoughts and suggestions:
· I would switch the locations of the two fields so that the one that gives the location of the region you are looking at is front and center and the search is off to the side.
· I would suggest changing the visual format of the navigation field (the one that gives the location of the region you are looking at) so that it doesn't look like a search box, e.g. remove the outline, change the font, and/or make the background transparent so it doesn't look like an editable box (although it is nice that you can select the string that's displayed in the navigation field and copy it).
· I personally don't see the need for the chromosome dropdown—I think it's more confusing than helpful. You don't have to select a chromosome, but you can. If you have that set to the wrong chromosome and enter, for example, a gene symbol it will still go to the correct region for that gene, but the naïve user might think they have to know what chromosome the gene is on and enter it to get the results they want. You can select one chromosome there and enter the complete coordinates for the region you want using a different chromosome (e.g. select chromosome 1 in the dropdown and enter Chr2:116049798..174068641 in the search box) and it will go to the chromosome in the search box and ignore the dropdown (and quite honestly, ignoring the dropdown is also what I always do, but an inexperienced user wouldn't know that they could just ignore it).
· Trying to think as a naïve user who wouldn't necessarily know to use two dots to separate the start and stop, I tried using the chromosome dropdown to select the chromosome and put in coordinates using a dash rather than two dots. It took me a bit to figure out what it's doing with that. I selected chromosome ctgA and entered 1134-3500 in the search box and it shows ctgA:1107..1160 (55 b) if I have it displaying full screen and ctgA:1115..1153 (40 b) if the window is smaller. I take it that it's showing the number of nucleotides it can fit on the screen centered around the first number inputted (1134)? How hard would it be to make the tool smart enough to convert the dash into two dots if a user entered the position using a dash?
· Tool tips would be great—maybe something like "Enter a chromosomal position, symbol or ID to search" for the search box and "Region displayed: ctgA:1320..3280 (1.96 Kb), Search term: hgb" for the navigation field. (These are obviously not necessary for the experienced user but could be very helpful for naïve users.)
I personally do see a clear need for the chromosome dropdown. I use it very frequently to switch between chromosomes - otherwise you need to type. Furthermore you can see if particular chromosomes are included in the genome build, or indeed extra scaffolds or mitochondrion.
Furthermore many assemblies have different chromosome names 1, chr1, Chr1, 01, etc which are not apparent to naive users, or even experienced ones if many assemblies are used.
Please don't remove the dropdown !
Asides from this, many of my users navigate to a spot using links to named features, not chromosomal coordinates.