Do we have too many ways to search?

Millwood marcausl at
Mon Aug 11 15:12:10 UTC 2014

I have a different gripe about this.  I've also opened a bug but have 
not had any influence.

IMHO, the google search page is simply better than any of the search 
options offered.  Specifically, it provides both type ahead guessing AND 
search result previews. Some of the firefox alternatives do type ahead, 
but none do preview.

It is no longer possible in firefox to bind ctrl-k to a url.  My 
workaround is keysnail, a key binding add-on.  But this is beyond most 
users ability or interest.

Bill Selman wrote:
> Yes. Yes, we do. Thank you for bringing this up.
> It is clear from the Search Access Points study I conducted in the
> spring that:
>  1. The differences among the SAPs are confusing to users (“Why can I
>     search in the search box and the URL bar? They do the same thing.”)
>  2. More and different is not better . The inconsistent functionality
>     and interaction feedback among the SAPs adds to the confusion.
> With the recent changes to newtab (adding search) and the launch of
> directory tiles creates a unique opportunity to eliminate search
> redundancy and streamline the search user experience. I put together a
> small presentation where I mapped out all the SAPs that exist and
> recommended ways to eliminate redundancy. I’m happy to discuss.
> Bill
> --
> Bill Selman
> Lead User Researcher
> Mozilla Corporation
> On August 11, 2014 at 9:18:43 AM, Mike Conley (mconley at
> <mailto:mconley at>) wrote:
>> I saw somebody tweet this a few days ago:
>> and it did strike me that there might indeed be a redundancy problem
>> here. When a user first opens Firefox, by default, they're going to
>> have 3 inputs for searching (AwesomeBar, search bar, about:home search
>> input). Same goes for new tabs now.
>> That's quite a lot of redundancy, and I wonder if it's perhaps too
>> much. I know there's been a bit of work lately experimenting with
>> search, and I just wanted to raise this redundancy as a little flag in
>> case it has somehow slipped past the radar.
>> Not that redundancy is intrinsically bad, but it is sometimes the
>> symptom of a deeper problem.
>> I originally opened this as a bug[1], where there's already been a
>> little bit of discussion, but after reflection, it was clear that
>> there wasn't anything immediately actionable in the bug report, so
>> I've closed the bug and moved the discussion here to expose it to a
>> wider audience. Perhaps read the bug comments to bring yourself up to
>> speed on the current state of the discussion.
>> Are there any additional thoughts on this?
>> -Mike
>> [1]:
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