Help people avoid making a blank search for an authority #3458

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equivalentideas opened this Issue Aug 15, 2016 · 5 comments

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equivalentideas commented Aug 15, 2016

The most common search (1 in 20) on Right To Know’s Select Authority page is a blank search.

Are the other sites seeing this as well? Why is this happening?

Would it be helpful to users to prevent a reload and suggest they enter a term if searching is there intention (using the simple required attribute on the field)? e.g.
screen shot 2016-08-15 at 4 44 11 pm

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zarino Oct 10, 2016

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Adding a required attribute will certainly prevent blank searches.

I also wonder whether there should be a <label> above the input, telling you what to type? (In fact, the <label> is already there, but hidden – I wonder why?)

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zarino commented Oct 10, 2016

Adding a required attribute will certainly prevent blank searches.

I also wonder whether there should be a <label> above the input, telling you what to type? (In fact, the <label> is already there, but hidden – I wonder why?)

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Adding a required attribute will certainly prevent blank searches.

+1

I also wonder whether there should be a <label> above the input, telling you what to type? (In fact, the <label> is already there, but hidden – I wonder why?)

I guess the placeholder covers that:

screen shot 2016-10-11 at 11 17 16

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garethrees commented Oct 11, 2016

Adding a required attribute will certainly prevent blank searches.

+1

I also wonder whether there should be a <label> above the input, telling you what to type? (In fact, the <label> is already there, but hidden – I wonder why?)

I guess the placeholder covers that:

screen shot 2016-10-11 at 11 17 16

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@garethrees: I wouldn’t be surprised if a significant chunk of visitors skip right over that “First, type in…” sentence (it’s too long), and then either mistake the placeholder text for a pre-filled input (the text colour is fairly dark) and click "Search" because they want to query the Department of Health, or mistake the placeholder text as exactly what it appears to be—just an example of something to search for—and mistakenly click "Search" expecting to be shown a thing that will let them begin a search.

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zarino commented Oct 11, 2016

@garethrees: I wouldn’t be surprised if a significant chunk of visitors skip right over that “First, type in…” sentence (it’s too long), and then either mistake the placeholder text for a pre-filled input (the text colour is fairly dark) and click "Search" because they want to query the Department of Health, or mistake the placeholder text as exactly what it appears to be—just an example of something to search for—and mistakenly click "Search" expecting to be shown a thing that will let them begin a search.

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Would a question to frame this initial step be a good label? e.g. “Who would you like to request documents from?”, “Who is your request to?”, etc. Then maybe move the explanation text (“by law they have to respond”) underneath the input. Is that text important for users?

e.g.

screen shot 2016-10-12 at 11 35 58 am

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equivalentideas commented Oct 12, 2016

Would a question to frame this initial step be a good label? e.g. “Who would you like to request documents from?”, “Who is your request to?”, etc. Then maybe move the explanation text (“by law they have to respond”) underneath the input. Is that text important for users?

e.g.

screen shot 2016-10-12 at 11 35 58 am

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garethrees Oct 17, 2016

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I don't have any evidence to support this, but I prefer that we tell the user what to do ("Find an authority") rather than asking them a question that might not translate so well to other languages.

The quickest win here would be to add the required attribute.

For extra points we could improve the prominence of the search form, but this is a bit better in the newer Alaveteli theme.

screen shot 2016-10-17 at 10 23 32

For the RTK theme you could try adding a background to the search form so that the white form field stands out more from the white background?

screen shot 2016-10-17 at 10 27 56

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garethrees commented Oct 17, 2016

I don't have any evidence to support this, but I prefer that we tell the user what to do ("Find an authority") rather than asking them a question that might not translate so well to other languages.

The quickest win here would be to add the required attribute.

For extra points we could improve the prominence of the search form, but this is a bit better in the newer Alaveteli theme.

screen shot 2016-10-17 at 10 23 32

For the RTK theme you could try adding a background to the search form so that the white form field stands out more from the white background?

screen shot 2016-10-17 at 10 27 56

mysociety-pusher pushed a commit that referenced this issue Nov 7, 2016

@crowbot crowbot added 4 - now and removed 2 - contender labels Nov 7, 2016

mysociety-pusher pushed a commit that referenced this issue Nov 29, 2016

Add required attribute to select authority form to prevent blank sear…
…ches

Remove the required attribute in Safari because it doesn't provide a
notice when a form is submitted without the required field. See
http://caniuse.com/#search=required.

Fixes #3458
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