Critical Section


Firefox realtime address-bar search

Thursday,  10/30/08  09:18 AM

Remember when Firefox 3 first came out, and one of the cool new features was realtime in-address-bar search?

You don't?  Well in case you're still an IE user, or just haven't noticed, when you type something into the Firefox location bar, it searches for previously entered addresses to prompt you in case one of them matches what you want now, and in so doing is searches the page titles as well as the page addresses.

So I have to say, I didn't like it at first; it seemed annoying, because I couldn't predict what it was going to do.  But now after several months of using it I love it.  It has become the fastest way for me to get to something, even when I know exactly where it is and could find it with a few clicks.  For example, Aperio's slide gallery, which just requires that I type aperio.com/gallery.  That is not much typing, but now I just type "ga" and poof, the Aperio slide gallery is at the top of the search list.  Wonderful.

Other examples of tools I like which have realtime search: iTunes, and X1.  The X1 example is particularly pertinent; I love the way I can search email and files on my disk with just a few keystrokes, and poof! realtime search results.  If you are still using Outlook's search for email or Windows Explorer's search for files, you will love this...

This is a great example of a small UI tweak which makes a big difference to users.  We've tried to do the same sort of thing in Aperio's Spectrum digital pathology information system, which is web-based.  We use JavaScript on the client-side to interpret input as the user is typing it, and do database lookups with AJAX to try to match what they've typed.  So if they want "breast cancer", by the time they've typed "br" the search result is right there, ready to be selected.

 

Home
Archive
flight
About Me
W=UH
Email
RSS   OPML

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
Lying
Aperio's Mission = Automating Pathology
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji The Nest Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
Confidence
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
the big day
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
entertainment
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
resolved
to space
notebooks
where are the desktop apps?