Perhaps a controversial issue: showing the list directly is more “advanced,” but from a usability point of view it may be better to show it only once the user is done typing. This is what StackOverflow does: only show the list once the Title field no longer has focus. This way you don’t get distracted by the noise you see while typing, start to ignore them, and then miss useful suggestions once you’re done typing and it can use all your keywords.

Submitted by Lennart Kats on 25 February 2010 at 08:27

On 9 March 2010 at 12:10 Sander Vermolen commented:

I see. I like the direct feedback offered. It is like Google suggestions, which I tend to use a lot. Particularly when I do not exactly know how to describe a search term, or issue title, the suggestions offer great aid in describing issues similar to existing issues. This has pros and cons yet I believe the pros outweigh the cons and am tempted to leave it as it is. Is that acceptable?

On 9 March 2010 at 12:39 Lennart Kats commented:

Well I don’t think it’s a big issue, so if you don’t want to change it that’s fine by me.

Either way, consider this. I also like Google suggestions, but that’s not really the same thing. Those suggestions all start with the same prefix, letting you see at a glance things that are similar. The suggestions by the issue tracker are all formulated very differently. Type in the name of this issue and you get:

Limit unassigned list on project page

Always show a list of tag suggestions

List all submitted issues on user pages

Tag suggestion list should not show @ tags

Type in some more words and you get a very different list:

Show list of similar issues when entering a new issue

List of similar issues is not shown when not logged in

Limit unassigned list on project page

Always show a list of tag suggestions

In most cases, these variations are quite big, giving you a completely different list for every little word you type in. It’s hard to see at a glance what is similar to what you just typed in (you really have to read the titles - formulated from a different user’s perspective, or a developer’s if you’re lucky), and it is even harder to keep track of how the suggestions changed as you are typing in your topic title. And in the end, the list is really best when looked at when you typed in all the keywords.

On 9 March 2010 at 12:49 Sander Vermolen commented:

That is true. The Google suggestions do all share a prefix and are generally shorter. I will try showing the list on leaving the title input box and see how that feels.

On 9 March 2010 at 15:23 Sander Vermolen commented:

I tried setting the suggestions list to show on blur, yet it is hard to see what is best practice. My guess is the direct feedback offers a more intuitive interface, yet may distract the user. I will leave this issue for now. We might want to reopen it in future.

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