On-demand categories and tab assist

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On-demand categories and tab assist Edward Lee 5/4/11 2:03 PM
For those following along here, you probably know that AwesomeBar HD
2, 3, 4, and now 5 have been available with various fixes. This post
summarizes some of the changes in those versions:

https://mozillalabs.com/prospector/2011/05/04/on-demand-categories-and-tab-assist/

Ed

Re: On-demand categories and tab assist Dom Derrien 5/4/11 4:24 PM
On Ubuntu 11.04 with Unity, when the Firefox window is maximized, the AwesomeBar HB bubble shows:
- either on the top of the URL bar, so under the top Unity bar (only partially visible)
- or just over the URL bar, so hiding the beginning of the text we're typing...
IMO, the bubble is more annoying than useful.

Is there a way to edit the number of options? 'go to', 'search', 'map', and 'reference' would be my short list ;)

A+, Dom
Re: On-demand categories and tab assist Dale [:cuz84d] 5/4/11 6:27 PM
How about just starting with integrating tab assist or search assisting on the web search widget?

I don't like all these highlighted texts and popups showing up depending on what you type.   I think it should be less intrusive and easy to configure via Options Panel instead, or like easy to change search engine keywords like the current search engine widget does now.


Re: On-demand categories and tab assist Paul Morris 5/4/11 11:35 PM
Nice work!  I like most of the changes: showing the full URL, highlighting the domain, hiding the categories, tabbing through them, etc.

I see what you're going for with the "Press tab to..." bubble in terms of discoverability, but I personally think it's really distracting and not very helpful after you understand that you can use tab that way.  I would prefer showing something like it as a one-time pop-up for the first time use, and then having it go away.  (Or at the least have a way to turn it off.)

I'm ambivalent about clicking the empty space removing the URL, but this may be just because I'm used to the URL staying there.  I'm not sure how much you gain with this since the URL is selected on click, so just typing erases it -- so that's equivalent to an empty field.  Might be simpler to have consistent behavior no matter where you click, and more consistency with other text fields where the text remains there when you click on it.  (The current behavior of clicking once to select the text is different from most other text fields, where you have to double-click to select the text, so that's another consideration that's somewhat related.) 

I'm undecided about not showing the http(s)://   but would probably be ok with this.  My only concern is for sites that use https but don't have the identity block.  Maybe there could be a way to signal that these are https?  Like showing the "https://" for them, or an icon, maybe a padlock, before the URL? 
Re: On-demand categories and tab assist Frank J. 5/5/11 12:08 AM
Hmm.
Its good to have the tab reminder in order to get used to it.
What is breaking my user experience is, that if I want to go to the awesomebar to copy the adress or change it (for Wiki stuff for example) it is gone. This is bad.
Thx and regards
Frank J.
Re: On-demand categories and tab assist Judah Richardson 5/5/11 9:34 AM
Does AwesomeBar HD support Mycroft search plugins? I use those extensively and they're very important to me.
Re: On-demand categories and tab assist thepillow86 5/6/11 2:42 AM
I think the new featureset is good. I like particularly that the whole url is shown. I don't really understand why http:// is omitted though. I always use these letters to see whether i'm on a safe connections (https). Also, the tab assist is handy initially when you don't know that this is possible, but after a while it gets a bit distracting. This brings me to a point that I have recommended before. I think the most important thing for awesomebar hd now is to create a settings menu where users can customise their HD-bar experience, for instance by disabling 'tab assist' information balloons.
Thank you.
Re: On-demand categories and tab assist jenga 5/6/11 3:27 AM
I'd love to be able to rearrange the list or even add/remove my own search nodes.

Also, the bubble should really just show up in the beginning. Maybe for the duration of the first session or only if you place your cursor over the address bar. This, of course, could be solved by adding some kind of option panel as well. Options are good. I like options.
Re: On-demand categories and tab assist Patrick O'Leary 5/6/11 6:01 AM
Remember that Awesomebar HD is an experiment. Options are bad. For the moment, this is Ed's playground, and the fact that he's doing it in the open doesn't change that. As soon as you start throwing options into the mix, your userbase will start to experience the software differently, which makes it much harder to understand your feedback.

As ABHD matures into a real product, perhaps this makes sense, but remember this thing is barely a couple of weeks old.

Incidentally, as a follow up to Home Dash, I like it. I did enjoy playing with Home Dash but appreciate that breaking out the concepts will make the whole thing easier to manage.

Now the keywords just need to be as easy to add/remove/create as Ubiquity or YubNub and we'll be in great shape! :-)

Actually, to steal one from Ubiquity, the following interaction might be cool:
* Select text in page (represented by [selected text] below)
* Press CTRL+K (ABHD shows "search: [selected text]")
* User then continues typing to replace [selected text], or presses enter to search immediately, or tabs through to desired search type

Also handy might be a keyboard shortcut that selects the search type string (i.e., "[search]: stuff to search on") so it could easily by typed over, for us Ubiquity fans. Call that shortcut ALT+K (which currently appears to do nothing when you're in the location bar, but use whatever you want). Would look something like this, with "|" the cursor location:
* Press CTRL+K (ABHD shows "search: |")
* Enter search terms (ABHD shows "search: presidents united states america lump|"
* Realize you just wanted to search YouTube, press ALT+K (ABHD shows "[search]: presidents united states america lump")
* Type v-i-TAB (ABHD shows "video: presidents united states america lump|")

Let me know what you think or if you want me to file these on GitHub.

Patrick
Re: On-demand categories and tab assist Edward Lee 5/6/11 5:05 PM
On Wed, May 4, 2011 at 4:24 PM, Dom Derrien <dominiqu...@gmail.com> wrote:
> IMO, the bubble is more annoying than useful.
I'm glad to report that with v6, the bubble goes away after you press
tab a few times. There's a separate bubble to show shift-tab as well
as tab completion, but those will also go away after you use them a
few times.

> Is there a way to edit the number of options? 'go to', 'search', 'map', and
> 'reference' would be my short list ;)
Would you be happy with a version that only lets you hide categories?
Most likely tab completion would still work for the hidden categories,
but at least in the UI there would only be the few you don't hide.

Ed

Re: On-demand categories and tab assist Edward Lee 5/6/11 5:07 PM
On Wed, May 4, 2011 at 6:27 PM, Dale [:cuz84d] <dale.b...@gmail.com> wrote:
> How about just starting with integrating tab assist or search assisting on
> the web search widget?
Sorry, what do you mean by the "web search widget"? Are you referring
to the original search bar and how it shows search suggestions?

Ed

Re: On-demand categories and tab assist Edward Lee 5/6/11 5:14 PM
On Wed, May 4, 2011 at 11:35 PM, Paul Morris <paulw...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm ambivalent about clicking the empty space removing the URL, but this may
> be just because I'm used to the URL staying there.
Curious, how far to the right of the URL are you clicking? Would it be
better if some fixed amount to the right of the clicked url causes the
cursor to be placed at the end instead of selecting the whole thing by
default (when clicking the url) and also instead of showing nothing
(when clicking the empty). I suppose that might be slightly confusing
in that there's a magic white space area that prevents click then type
from showing exactly what you typed.

> consistent behavior no matter where you click
With v6, the categories are not shown when the url is visible, so at
least for mouse users, clicking in the top-right area near where the
search bar used to be won't result in showing a url that hides
categories. But I suppose if it were truly to keep the old behavior,
clicking empty near the search bar should pre-fill with "search: "?

> My only concern is for sites that use https but don't have the identity block.
What is the goal here? You're on a https site that isn't actually
encrypted, so treat it just like any http page. To a user, the lack of
the identity block should indicate that already. Or at least the other
side where showing a green identity block should mean it's safe.

Ed

Re: On-demand categories and tab assist Edward Lee 5/6/11 5:15 PM
On Thu, May 5, 2011 at 12:08 AM, Frank J. <cabo...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I want to go to the awesomebar to copy the adress or change it it is gone
I believe you were running into this issue that should be fixed in v6!
https://github.com/mozilla/prospector/issues/277

Ed

Re: On-demand categories and tab assist Edward Lee 5/6/11 5:18 PM
On Thu, May 5, 2011 at 9:34 AM, Judah Richardson
<judahri...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Does AwesomeBar HD support Mycroft search plugins?
I'm assuming normally they show up in the search bar like any other
added search engine? Just to double check, you can set one of them as
a default search engine then select some text and open the context
menu to see: Search <engine> for "<selected text>"?

If so, I would think fixing this issue, which relates to the
OpenSearch providers, would also fix it for Mycroft search plugins:
https://github.com/mozilla/prospector/issues/248

Ed

Re: On-demand categories and tab assist Edward Lee 5/6/11 5:24 PM
On Fri, May 6, 2011 at 2:42 AM, thepillow86 <thep...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I don't really understand why http:// is omitted though. I always use these
> letters to see whether i'm on a safe connections (https).
Would you feel safer if you could see both the green/blue identity
block as well as the "https://"? (as opposed to just the identity
block and no https://)

> I think the most important thing for awesomebar hd now is to create a
> settings menu where users can customise their HD-bar experience, for
> instance by disabling 'tab assist' information balloons.
Currently there's no options/settings pane to configure, so setting
one up has some initial work. But probably more feasible is showing
options "inline", so other ideas around this included putting an 'x'
on the balloon. For v6, we're trying out some instrumentation to track
how many times you've used "tab" to then never show the help, so you
won't need to dig around for options to check/uncheck.

Ed

Re: On-demand categories and tab assist Edward Lee 5/6/11 5:29 PM
On Fri, May 6, 2011 at 3:27 AM, jenga <pew...@googlemail.com> wrote:
> I'd love to be able to rearrange the list or even add/remove my own search
> nodes.
Could you rank those in what you would want most to least?

> Options are good. I like options.
Me too! But showing options for things that the user shouldn't have to
care about doesn't seem like a good idea. Although options to try out
very different interfaces could be interesting without needing to
release a whole separate add-on. For example, there was a suggestion
to show only icons instead of text labels to help with discovery of
providers.

Ed

Re: On-demand categories and tab assist thepillow86 5/6/11 5:33 PM
Hi, thanks for the feedback.
I think that I would feel safer if I could see both the letters and the blue bar. But I think that is because i'm very accustomed to the letters. I find it unfortunate that firefox 4 omitted the lock symbol that used to show in the status bar. The blue bar is often quite similar to the logo of a website, it doesn't really stand out.

I think an X button for the balloon would be nice.

It remains a great project, I hope it will get implemented one day in the real firefox! :)
Re: On-demand categories and tab assist thepillow86 5/6/11 5:36 PM
Adding my own search nodes would actually be really high up on my list! I regularly look up things in a dictionary and it would be great to be able to just type it in abhd.
Re: On-demand categories and tab assist Edward Lee 5/6/11 5:37 PM
On Fri, May 6, 2011 at 6:01 AM, Patrick O'Leary
<patrick...@gmail.com> wrote:
> * Select text in page (represented by [selected text] below)
> * Press CTRL+K (ABHD shows "search: [selected text]")
> * User then continues typing to replace [selected text], or presses enter to
> search immediately, or tabs through to desired search type
This might be better shown as search suggestions (once those get
added). One tricky aspect is that if it does automatically get filled
in, the web search, say google, would immediately know what you had
selected or had in your clipboard. So having them as the top 1 or 2
suggestions might work out better if you do have both something
selected and something else copied.

> * Enter search terms (ABHD shows "search: presidents united states america
> lump|"
> * Realize you just wanted to search YouTube, press ALT+K (ABHD shows
> "[search]: presidents united states america lump")
> * Type v-i-TAB (ABHD shows "video: presidents united states america lump|")
At one point I had mocked up switching providers at the end of the
query.. which was somewhat strange. You would have "search: foo" then
you could do "search: foo video" and at this point hit tab or press :
and magically it would switch to video. But most likely not very
discoverable.

Your suggestion for having a shortcut to jump and pre-select the
keyword does sound pretty interesting. Right now you can do that
manually if you didn't activate a search, e.g., type "foo", move
cursor to the front, type "v" and hit tab to end up with "videos:
foo". In fact, if you type "foo" and hit ctrl-K now, it'll switch to
"search: foo" but place the cursor at the end. Maybe it should just
highlight as you suggested if you've already typed in some words.

https://github.com/mozilla/prospector/issues/306

Ed

Re: On-demand categories and tab assist Patrick O'Leary 5/6/11 6:31 PM


On Friday, May 6, 2011 7:37:23 PM UTC-5, Edward Lee wrote:
On Fri, May 6, 2011 at 6:01 AM, Patrick O'Leary
<patrick...@gmail.com> wrote:
> * Select text in page (represented by [selected text] below)
> * Press CTRL+K (ABHD shows "search: [selected text]")
> * User then continues typing to replace [selected text], or presses enter to
> search immediately, or tabs through to desired search type
This might be better shown as search suggestions (once those get
added). One tricky aspect is that if it does automatically get filled
in, the web search, say google, would immediately know what you had
selected or had in your clipboard. So having them as the top 1 or 2
suggestions might work out better if you do have both something
selected and something else copied.

That could work.

> * Enter search terms (ABHD shows "search: presidents united states america
> lump|"
> * Realize you just wanted to search YouTube, press ALT+K (ABHD shows
> "[search]: presidents united states america lump")
> * Type v-i-TAB (ABHD shows "video: presidents united states america lump|")
At one point I had mocked up switching providers at the end of the
query.. which was somewhat strange. You would have "search: foo" then
you could do "search: foo video" and at this point hit tab or press :
and magically it would switch to video. But most likely not very
discoverable.

Agree on the discoverability. But I do generally think about what it is I'm looking for before I decide where to look for it, so I'm not sure it's so crazy to do things in that order. Wonder if there are any papers on that out of the psych/cognitive engineering/UX lit?

Your suggestion for having a shortcut to jump and pre-select the
keyword does sound pretty interesting. Right now you can do that
manually if you didn't activate a search, e.g., type "foo", move
cursor to the front, type "v" and hit tab to end up with "videos:
foo". In fact, if you type "foo" and hit ctrl-K now, it'll switch to
"search: foo" but place the cursor at the end. Maybe it should just
highlight as you suggested if you've already typed in some words.

I had actually discovered that; maybe you could overload HOME to make the search category the current selection, instead of just moving the cursor?
Re: On-demand categories and tab assist Patrick O'Leary 5/6/11 6:37 PM
On Friday, May 6, 2011 7:29:09 PM UTC-5, Edward Lee wrote:

...Although options to try out


very different interfaces could be interesting without needing to
release a whole separate add-on.

If you try that, you might see about instrumenting the pref, or even A/B testing it (just pick one config or the other at first install.) Maybe I'm getting too into the R&D/experimentalist mindset here, but randomizing your experimental population will let you make stronger inferences. (Just sayin'.)
Re: On-demand categories and tab assist Judah Richardson 5/7/11 10:25 AM
None of the 3rd party Mycroft search plugins I use show up when I install AwesomeBar HD. Or least I can't seem to find them. Instead, I'm limited to the preloaded search engines the bar came with. While that may be fine for most users, I find it too limiting to be useful to me.
Re: On-demand categories and tab assist Paul Morris 5/7/11 2:11 PM
On Friday, May 6, 2011 8:14:16 PM UTC-4, Edward Lee wrote:
On Wed, May 4, 2011 at 11:35 PM, Paul Morris <paulw...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm ambivalent about clicking the empty space removing the URL, but this may
> be just because I'm used to the URL staying there.
Curious, how far to the right of the URL are you clicking?

Pretty far to the right I think?  (I now see that you're trying to keep the same behavior as clicking the search box, but that didn't occur to me before.) 

 
Would it be
better if some fixed amount to the right of the clicked url causes the
cursor to be placed at the end instead of selecting the whole thing by
default (when clicking the url) and also instead of showing nothing
(when clicking the empty). I suppose that might be slightly confusing
in that there's a magic white space area that prevents click then type
from showing exactly what you typed.

Yeah, I don't think that would be better.  Two different behaviors depending on where you click is better than three. 

> consistent behavior no matter where you click
With v6, the categories are not shown when the url is visible, so at
least for mouse users, clicking in the top-right area near where the
search bar used to be won't result in showing a url that hides
categories. But I suppose if it were truly to keep the old behavior,
clicking empty near the search bar should pre-fill with "search: "?

That sounds good in v6.  Hmmm... it would be a bit tricky to preserve the old behavior.  I just had a thought for how to do it, FWIW...   you could show just the word "Search..." at the far right of ABHD (any time the URL is shown, instead of the former behavior of showing all the categories).  This would be a link/button that would pre-fill with "search:" and show the category interface.  If any URL extended that far right the "Search..." link would be shown on top of it.  The white space could then either be (a) select the whole URL following current AB behavior, or (b) bring up a blank ABHD with categories, as in ABHD v5 & v6?    That's just a thought -- I'm not sure if it's a good one or not, but I offer it FWIW.

> My only concern is for sites that use https but don't have the identity block.
What is the goal here? You're on a https site that isn't actually
encrypted, so treat it just like any http page. To a user, the lack of
the identity block should indicate that already. Or at least the other
side where showing a green identity block should mean it's safe.

I guess I wasn't aware that the identity block (or just a green one?) always indicated an https connection.  I always just looked for the https.  Now I know!  :)
Re: On-demand categories and tab assist Ad 5/25/11 4:30 PM
I'm in firm agreement. I find Awesomebar HD in one important way to be a step backward. I can't easily create nor modify existing OpenSearch/Sherlock plugins nor specify keywords, something I have been capable of doing since.. Firefox 2? The loss of this feature was why I uninstalled Awesomebar HD back when it was first released.

I find the addon "Add to Search Bar" indispensable as a tool because I can create a custom search, give it a keyword and summarily improve my user experience. I sincerely hope that eventual refinements to Firefox include such a feature.. or Awesomebar, if its not beyond the scope of what is being done here.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/add-to-search-bar/

Also, there's inconsistent behaviour with regards to interacting with the Awesomebar. If I click in the Awesomebar field, it blanks out the existing URL and prevents me from copy/pasting the link of the page I'm currently on. If I Ctrl-L however, it selects everything in that field and allows me to continue in the manner of which I am accustomed.
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