Breaking url-bar search

Gavin Sharp gavin at
Sat Aug 24 15:04:16 UTC 2013

On Tue, Aug 20, 2013 at 7:29 AM, William Pietri <william at> wrote:
> Thanks. If you're up from "thousands" to "tens of thousands" then we're
> moving closer to agreeing on the size of the problem, so that's progress.

I wasn't really using that level of precision when I originally said
"thousands", sorry if that wasn't clear.

> I also suspect there's a third group: people who didn't really intend to use
> two search engines, but who expected the url bar to keep doing what it was
> doing for them, and had that expectation violated when the url bar changed
> to doing whatever was set in the search box. Here I'd expect there two be
> two sub-groups that differ in impact: those who discover the relationship
> between the search box and the url bar, and so can control things, and those
> who don't.

This is a good point. I'm certainly not claiming that the search bar
selector UI is the best tool for controlling searches, or that the
link is obvious. But I think it's probably the best one we have at the
moment. Finding ways to make the link clearer would be useful; I agree
that is a problem worth solving, but it might best be solved by a more
comprehensive re-design of our search UI.


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