Redesigning search in MAAS UI

As part of our new layout work, we would like to redesign the search for MAAS UI. We have discovered that our search DSL is not very easy to use and there are some logical operations that was not clear to users.
Our list of filters also doesn’t have all the filters that are useful, especially when the machine changes its state, some machine drop out of the search view.

  • We want to provide guide for people to construct the search query easily
  • Allow people to save their search queries.
  • Re-apply the search query without retyping the entire thing.

There are 3 very rough version of our ideas to make search better.

Version 1

The journey starts by just clicking on the text input field. If they CLICK on one of the suggested chips, the drop down provides suggested operations that they can do as they type. A user can do compound operations such as contain (default), (=) equals, (!=) not, and start-with. They can also use AND or OR operations with the chips.

In this case a user continues typing the word “pod” into the chip. Then the drop down suggests all the tags that contain the string “pod”. They can either hit ENTER or click on the chip.

A user may start a journey by typing. In this case, it is safe to assume that it’s the machine name that they were aiming for (based on the searching statistics from Apr 13).

If a filter element takes number inputs, we need to help them specify the unit and allow them to use mathematical operators.

Editing the chip element. A user needs to tap/click on the chip element and edit the element.

Screen Shot 2022-04-14 at 5.42.09 PM

Version 2

When there is no input, by default, the search dropdown suggests popular filter categories.

When a user clicks on something, the chip goes outside of the text area. Treating this text area as an edit mode.

If a user starts by typing. It suggests operations in the dropdown such as contains, starts with, equals, etc.

If a user hits ENTER, the chip will be overwritten with the logic and keyword, and placed outside of the search input area.

Screen Shot 2022-04-14 at 5.53.57 PM

Version 3

In version 3 we treat the search area as an expanded panel, you can select the categories you want to filter on the left, the operations on the top, and the state on the right.

How do I save my search queries?

When a user constructs a search query, which results in chips, the pin icon appears. When a user clicks on the pin icon, they can add a comment to this query and save it.

How do I see my saved queries and re-apply them?

When you click on a clock icon, it should show you the list of pinned search queries and the last 5 search queries that you did in MAAS.

The one with the pin icon is the one you saved. Below the query is a comment that you specified, when you save.

These are the early sketches of the interactions in our search. Nothing here is final.
Tell us about what you like about each version and what you wish you can search in your current MAAS instance.

Leave your comments about searching and filtering below so we can help you have a better search experience in the UI.

1 Like

Any of these enhancements would make my filtering work better. I don’t have a strong view on which bits are more important or should be implemented first.

Even though I am new, I have already started facing the problems with the search DSL. I can see your ambitions while reading this thread. Hopefully, I will see these changes being implemented as soon as possible.