Upcoming change to quick search function in Shotgun

Hi everyone,
We’re looking at making some changes to the “quicksearch” function:

  1. Allowing for any combination of fields to be selected for search through the dropdown (e.g. on a Shots page, search Shot Name and Description only, or just Shot Name, or Description and Status, etc…)
  2. Selecting all fields visible on pages by default (so by default, the search would search everything in the table, but it would be possible to uncheck individual fields to limit to just specific fields as required). Fields not visible on the page can be searched by choosing them individually.
  3. Removing the “keywords” option

What we’re trying to accomplish here is a rework of this functionality to make it more intuitive. When users type into the quick search on a table, they instinctively expect to be able to zero in on something visible in the view, whether that’s a shot name, specific tag, etc. Instead what actually happens is that they end up searching a limited subset of all the information (the “keywords”), which are actually a hardcoded set of fields– our sort of best guess as to what people might want to search in each case. For the most part this was fine, but it caused confusion for users expecting to find information in other columns (and who might not think to look in the dropdown menu). Additionally, people who wanted to specify exactly which fields could be searched were left disappointed– they had to either go with the keywords or a single field. We think these changes should align closer to users’ expectations when using it for the first time, as well as provide more flexibility for more sophisticated users.

In terms of actually removing the keywords option, I’d like to share our thinking for removing it. It was originally implemented as a concession to searching a table of data without a detriment to performance. As I mentioned, we chose a set of specific values that worked for the majority of situations, but ultimately provided a more complicated experience overall. New users couldn’t understand why certain things wouldn’t show up when they searched for them, and seasoned users requested for the configuration to be customised (or changed). Our hope is that with the other two changes to this function in place, the keywords option becomes moot and only serves to create clutter.

Let us know what you think!