I appreciate you throwing a lot at me. That's what the beta test is for! I'll try and address your questions and comments below:
DA9 wrote:For modified keywords, it seems best to leave them alone as long as the new search is of the same make/model. Now that you've fixed the year search, the make/model is the only thing I can think of that someone would want to modify keywords for. This way for example, if someone wishes to change the years or prices they're searching for, they won't lose other modifications. Although this would warrant a "clear button," to clear the cookie (or whatever you use to keep past searches filled in) so that a person could start from scratch.
Agreed. Only difficulty is it's non-trivial to tell what part of the keywords have been changed, since they're just stored as a big string once they're in Searchtempest. Probably the ideal way would be to make a Searchtempest mod for HH to just have two keywords boxes, and put the make/model in one and all the other stuff in the other. Then it would just remember the make/model box until one of those was changed.
DA9 wrote:If you decide to go with the pop-up (which may be necessary to notify people), I think you should allow an option to prevent the pop-up from coming again and remember my choice, as you have for when a person searches for cars & trucks on searchtempest, and you include a pop-up on hanks helper, with those options. I also think the pop-up should point out a clear button, that would clear out all modifications to searches so that I (as a user) could start from scratch again without trying to figure out what is and isn't supposed to be there.
Yep, good call. As an aside, do you think it should be a pop-up like the one that tells people about HH, or a news dropdown like what's there now telling about how you can tweak the keywords?
DA9 wrote:Something I just noticed is that you don't include an option to search only postings sold by owner or sold by dealer or both. Since all the websites HH searches through include those options, why not include them yourself in the first page? It would become redundant changing all my search options to Private seller only each time I searched for a new car. Also several of the websites HH searchs through include New/Used/Both filter, so why not include that too?
I do have that option. It's under the More Options button. Don't include New/Used because HH is for searching for used cars.
Most of the sites have totally different sections for new cars that I don't deal with. (Again, yes, it's a possibility for future, like the bikes thing.. but not right now
DA9 wrote:I know I'm throwing a lot at you at this point, but how hard would it be to do multiple searches for multiple cars at once? Auto Trader allows up to 3 cars at once and Oodle for example allows as many as you wish, using filters.
This ties into what you say about make and model names below. Since only a few of the sites support multiple searches together, it would just add too much confusion to try and include it in the HH interface. It's easy enough to change the model and run a couple of searches. However, I do plan to use that functionality to support alternate models. Right now, all the makes and models are pulled directly from the sites. That's why it doesn't know that a 'Civic Del Sol' at one site is the same thing as a 'Del Sol' at another site. The only good way to do that is to go through every single one, research the models I'm not familiar with, and set up manual links and exceptions and stuff. Obviously that will take time, but it is on the list.
Anyway, there are also cases like the BMW 3-series. Cars.com lists one model: 3-series. Autotrader lists 318i, 325i, 330i, etc. Ideally if you pick one of the latter, you'll get that at Autotrader and you'll get 3-series at cars.com. (Right now, as I said, you'd only
get autotrader. Likewise if you pick 3-series, autotrader should give you all those models. That's what I'll use the multiple-search feature of autotrader and others for.
DA9 wrote:I just had Firefox crash while using your site. First time Firefox has ever crashed for me like that, and I've used Firefox since Mozilla 1.6. I had just found "More Options" and all I did was click save after checking ALL for all websites. Firefox had me send a report about it. Never seen that before. (Like I said I've never had that happen before.) In the report is said the website was shop.*.*.ebay.com or something.
That's just weird.. haven't experienced anything like that, but it sounds like it's ebay that's crashing your browser. Does it always happen, or just once? [edit: fixed now]
DA9 wrote:Speaking of Ebay, when I search for Acura, Integra, 90-92 (no, no other parameters) and look at the ebay tab is says 2 matches but only shows me 1. When I click "See All Results at Ebay.com" or go to Ebay itself and search for it, I get another Integra for $1000 as an option that has no bids. Is it because it doesn't have any bids that it doesn't show up on HH? This appears to need to be fixed. *(to test this yourself you will need to do so in the next 24 hours as the listings may change and the one Integra that IS listed is going off in about 36 hours.) EDIT: I just search for a Honda CRX and on there is 1 result but it isn't listed on HH I again have to go to ebay.com to view it. The common feature of both of these listings (the Integra and CRX) is they are more than 4 days out. Is this why they aren't listed?
Also weird.. it seems the number of models it says are returned doesn't ever exactly match the actual number. I never actually counted the 20 or so models from my test searches to notice that! I'll check it out.. [edit: also fixed]
DA9 wrote:By the way, the "More Options" button isn't very obvious. I just discovered what other options I had because when I would scan the page for (for example) Sold by Dealer/Seller/Both I wasn't looking for a "More Options" button. Why not include that on the home page of HH under a "More Options" subtitle with a small disclaimer about "Only on supported sites" instead of having to click on the button?
There's a whole lot of stuff under more options. It can't alll be on the main page, so the separator was anything that's only partially supported goes under more options. I figure people who are looking for something that isn't on the main page will scan it and see the button as you did. Hmm.. maybe instead of a more options button I could have a bunch of small links: private/dealer, body style, transmission, etc that open up the more options dialog. I kind of like that idea.. [edit: and so I did it - Done.]
DA9 wrote:Alas, under the "Model Info" tab for the frame to the right on the homepage, if I click on one of the website buttons is just goes to the ebay tab and seems to reload all of the websites. Perhaps you should link each button to their respective tab?
What those buttons do is run a search on that particular site. Since you already have the sites open, they just refresh the one that you click. (If you hadn't done a search, they'd do one on just that site.) The problem is, every time you run a search, it automatically opens the first tab. What it should
do is open the first tab that was actually searched
. I'll add that to the list!
[edit: aaand fixed]
DA9 wrote:Okay okay, I think this is the last thing. The star on the end is google.com, did you get the code for the tabs from google or something? (after all why would I want to search HH.com? it isn't a lot of content, just a search engine after all) Anyways, when I search again using HH, the tabs I have open on HH that I've searched reload, but if I have other tabs open (example websites I've decided not to search on again or the google tab) they all stay. that can get cluttered pretty fast so why not clear the unused ones out with a new search (with a warning about that?). Just a thought.
P.S. Something I meant to mention in my first post is how LARGE the HH Title is. (And ST's homepage title for that matter) It is a bit too large and a bit of an eyesore to boot (no offense).
The google thing is left over from when most people were using IE6 and didn't have tabs. It was handy to be able to look up info on the cars or whatever in the same window. It's a bit redundant now, but I didn't see any real reason to get rid of it. I wouldn't want to wipe out people's tabs for no reason though.. If they want to declutter, they can click the 'close all' button before running the next search, right? Plus, as you say, it's doubtful people will use it anyway. Do you think I should get rid of it?
As for the title, ya, I suppose I agree for HH. The whole page is going to be restyled anyway, so I'm sure that'll be fixed. Searchtempest, I'll have to get some more feedback. I've gotten a lot of positive feedback about the new title/logo (and obviously I like it).
Definitely a personal taste thing.. (Don't know if you noticed, but I got rid of the banners at the top of the page and shrunk the title on the results page significantly to save space.) I will consider that though.
Thanks again for all your feedback! It's definitely been helpful. And I'll try and take a look into those bugs soon. I'm moving on Monday though, so it'll probably be at least next week. (Unless you find something really show-stopping - then please let me know and I'll find a way to deal with it.)