Comment 148 for bug 691380

(In reply to Blake Winton [On vacation until Jan 9th] (:bwinton - Thunderbird UX) from comment #144)
> (In reply to Charles from comment #136)
> Our user-testing has shown that people have problems with the two search
> bars, and trying to figure out which one to use for what kind of searches.
> Merging them into a single bar that sometimes does what you want and
> sometimes doesn't doesn't seem to me to be a good way to resolve that issue,
> and I think we can do better than that.

One option then would be to make it an either/or option - meaning, you can't have both, and I certainly have no problem with making the Quick Filter Toolbar the default one that is enabled, but allow the user to choice to *switch* to the Widget (movable/standalone searchbox that this extension provides), and pop-up a little warning explaining the difference between the two search options (Toolbar, or Widget) to the user when they change the option so it is clear what they are doing, and that enabling the widget would disable the Toolbar.

That way there is no possibility for confusion.

> That was another key combo didn't work out. (I'm also not particularly
> happy with the current set of key combos, but if we ever manage to merge the
> QFB and Gloda bars, we can just use Ctrl-K, which is better, I think.)

Well, since I do not use GLODA for reasons already explained (it is absolutely *horrible* when used with very large IMAP stores), I certainly hope you aren't suggesting that GLODA will be something else I'll be *forced* to use at some point in the future...

> I'm not trying to bash the add-on (and said so to Iago in email), I'm just
> trying to point out things that I would want to see improved/fixed before
> landing something like this in Thunderbird.

Ok, and your hard work is much appreciated, even though sometimes it may not come out that way...

I had a few exchanges with Iago about simplifying the Widget, so hopefully I'll be able to post back here to try the new version soon and maybe some of your concerns will be addressed.

> Well, it wasn't my decision, so I'm not particularly offended. (But I'm
> also not convinced that only ever adding things, and never taking things
> away is a path that will lead to good software.)

Definitely me neither... but this is not one of those times. I absolutely love this addon, and can't imagine Thunderbird without it.

>> Ok, Blake, no offense, but you simply cannot be serious. It *does* make it
>> more 'minimal', in the sense that it takes up less *space* *and* allows the
>> user the freedom to put the searchbox wherever they want and be able to
>> filter messages without having another huge toolbar taking up more precious
>> screen real estate, which is *the* *whole* *point*.

> I see that you and I are talking about two completely different things.
> I don't care how much space we take up, if we get an easier to use program.

Sorry, again, no offense, but that comment just screams 'I know nothing about *good* UI design."

> You seem to not care how easy something is to use, as long as it takes up as
> little space as possible.

Well, I see essentially *zero* difference in 'ease of use' between the Toolbar and the Widget, beyond a 5 minute learning curve of:

"I installed the extension, so where is my old searchboix? Oh, I have to manually add it to a toolbar. There it is... now, how do I use it? Oh, I simply click into the searchbox, and the filter options magically appear."

How is that harder (aside from having to add it to a toolbar) than trying to figure out how to get the Toolbar to appear and disappear reliably?

> (Or, put another way, I want something that's conceptually minimal, whereas
> I think you want something that's physically minimal. Does that sound
> right?)

Maybe, but I prefer *both*, actually... ;)

>> I (and there are lots more like me) *don't* *like* the QFB, precisely
>> because it is a *toolbar*. It was the *reason* I opened this bug, and the
>> *reason* that Iago coded the Unified Search Addon

> This wasn't clear to me from the title or the comments I read.

Read the first two sentences in my opening comment...

>> Then you must have never bothered to read the opening comment. Too bad,
>> because the loss of the movable search box was a huge blow for many, many
>> people.

> Perhaps it was, but I haven't heard that many people complaining about it.
> (Maybe because Iago's add-on is satisfying their needs?)

Well there was a lot of noise on mozillazine and other sites when this happened, but it was a long time ago (3.1 I believe), so sure, the noise has died down because people either found the addon, or modified their behavior, but I also distinctly recall a lot of people saying they switched email clients (it was like a 'last straw' kind of thing).

> I understand that not everyone likes changes we make, but I still haven't
> been convinced that the benefit of this would outweigh the cost.

Well, in contrast, I honestly don't see the 'cost' in providing users the *option*.

>> Change for change's sake is not always for the best, and killing off the
>> simple/movable message searchbox filter was a *mistake*, in mine and many
>> others' opinions.

> It may or may not have been. The toolbar certainly seem easier to
> understand than having a textbox with some extra dropdown options.

The panel drops down when needed (when the user clicks into the searchbox or a search term is active).

> I hear that you dislike the amount of space it takes up, but if you're happy
> with Iago's add-on, then I don't really understand why you're pushing to get it
> merged into coreā€¦

Because ianap, and if Iago decides he has better things to do with his time, it could easily die a horrible death, but if it is in the core code, it wouldn't.

The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of making this an either/or option that is off by default. I really don't see how that wouldn't satisfy your objections about confusion, and I honestly can't think of any other reason *not* to provide users the choice of the Toolbar or the Widget.

Anyway, at least thanks very much for taking the time to respond and make your case.