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Dpreview launches redesigned and improved on-site search (beta)

By dpreview staff on Apr 24, 2012 at 00:30 GMT

We've just launched a redesigned and improved on-site search feature. The search system, currently in beta, is designed to give more relevant results from all of dpreview's editorial and forums content. We've also redesigned the way results are presented, to make it easier to get to the information you wanted. We're looking for user feedback during the beta process to help fine-tune the system and how the results are provided, so there's a 'Feedback' link at the top of every results page, to let you report back to us.

The rejuvenated search system is powered by Amazon's CloudSearch system, and should be more predictable and consistent than our previous search system was. Have a play around with it and let us know what you think.

Comments

Total comments: 52
Jainendra Kumar
By Jainendra Kumar (Jun 2, 2012)

I am not able to search challenge also.. I already given my feedback to DPR but not sure any plan to take any action on any feedback.

0 upvotes
glasswave
By glasswave (May 7, 2012)

The new engine apparently does not even support the simplest of Boolean logic like AND OR NOT or quotes, how pathetic.

0 upvotes
Bob Blount
By Bob Blount (May 5, 2012)

The content of DPR articles cannot be copied and pasted without including the black background which uses up lots of ink. Various website updates have not corrected this oft suggestion of mine so DPRs intent must to be to copy write this user hostile feature.

0 upvotes
Shan Sharma
By Shan Sharma (May 6, 2012)

Hi Bod,

You could have tried copying the text from the website to a Notepad first and then using it wherever it's needed. After all it's free information here so some effort to copy it from here shouldn't be a big ask I believe.

0 upvotes
Woofgeed
By Woofgeed (May 7, 2012)

You could also use firefox add-on called readable which converts pages to whatever colors and text you like to make it more "readable" and cut and paste that into your docs for prinitng. It's a one click solution to any site you're on. Worked for me.

0 upvotes
Adrian Godong
By Adrian Godong (Sep 28, 2012)

We have a Print view mode with the link at the end of each page for you to print the article.

0 upvotes
glasswave
By glasswave (May 3, 2012)

The new "improved" search engine is terrible. It offers way fewer options to drill down to the actual data you need. The results are less accurate and forces one to spend way more time sifting through useless chaff. Perhaps, this is what dpr wants.

It does appear to be designed to try and point you to the pages that dpr wants you to visit. Good job there. DPR use to be far and away the best manged forum that of which I had the pleasure to be a member. Since the acquisition by Amazon, I have watched the dpr devolve further & further as the site focused on bell & whistles as opposed to content. Your users are not toddlers looking to be spoon fed. We can get that from the manufactures' websites.

Please bring back the old engine, at least as an advanced options. While you are at it add an option to limit searches to our own posts. Now that would be handy.

Sincerely

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Apr 28, 2012)

I'm using Firefox v.12, and everything works OK - thanks! This is big improvement.
For practicality, I'd suggest the redesign of the top line like this:
... Lenses Printers Forums Photos Challenges Search
Rolldown under Photos should contain Galleries-relevant links as before, and rolldown under Challenges should have Challenge-related group, previously located under Photos. Search would open the new search page.
It would be practical and visually more pleasing.
As to the page background... I don't mind reading off the black. I just zoom-in a bit and it's perfectly readable. But a choice of backgrounds would be a treat, especially for people who find it a problem.
The most practical solution would be an elegant, thin white->grey->black slider option somewhere, say, below the username blue field, or a set of "skins" - whatever is easier to do.
Picture-viewing should, IMO, stay with the black background, although many think that "Kodak grey" (60% black) allows the best viewing...

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Wildbegonia
By Wildbegonia (Apr 26, 2012)

In a perfect world, a simple click at the far right corner will turn black background with white letters into a white background with black letters and viceversa without compromissing the page size. Very much like any site will flip from, lets say, Japanese to English or Dutch. And while at it, it will be so nice to include in the Photo Challenge section a search for challenges past by simply typing a word, lets say 'red', and you get a list of title Challenges past with this word in it. :D please?

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Robert Hoy
By Robert Hoy (Apr 25, 2012)

I use FireFox and for a long time now I cannot click into the "search" field. Won't let me in. My java is up to date. I also cannot sign into these news comment section ( using IE for this right now), nor can I vote in challenges. Try to fix these items for Firefox users?

0 upvotes
Mark H U
By Mark H U (Apr 24, 2012)

Some feedback.

First of all, I really like the site in general, very good features overall.

I like the underlining of the results text. Is it possible to color the results text to say Blue? The blue subject text shows up very nice. I find it easier/quicker to see, I'm over 50 you know.

I did a seach on "D3200", selected the specific forum and applied filter criteria, found decent results.

Thanks for trying to make it even better.

1 upvote
JacobSR
By JacobSR (Apr 24, 2012)

I'm sorry but I disagree, I'm not sure why your eyes are troubling you, it could be something else. Because black background is very comfortable to my eyes vs the bright white which is very harsh.
I think when you staring at text on a white backround, the text is mostly about 15% of the page, but you are also staring at 85% of the bright white backround, which it's very harsh. Try to stare at your laptop outside at night and you will know what I mean. I think part of what makes Dpreview so popular is the black background.

2 upvotes
IljaM
By IljaM (Apr 24, 2012)

Please, if you redesign the page, change the black background of the page, after 2 minutes of reading the text on your page, I have already really serious problems with my eyes, I need to stop to read...
This is the reason why I still less and less visit your page, because I have fears that I will read something a little bit longer and my eyes are are in pain...
White text on the black background is hell!

0 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (Apr 24, 2012)

i agree with you, but last time we polled our readers (July 2011) we got 61% wanting us to leave it as it is, 20% wanting black on white. Pretty decisive.

2 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Apr 25, 2012)

If you're using a Mac, you can hit control+option+command+8 and the screen will invert. It helps me a lot when editing. There's almost certainly a way of doing that on a PC too, but I don't remember how.

0 upvotes
NarrBL
By NarrBL (Apr 25, 2012)

Simon, give a choice, as a user preference -- that's what adaptive web design does, and it solves the problem, besides making various opinions each happy. You can default to the traditional black; and could offer some alternative choices -- perhaps even a color picker as that's a widget for free these days in Javascript. For examples with not entirely free choice, look at the background and font color alternatives on e-book readers, as there typically are intermediate schemes such as parchment color with dark brown text, for truly easy-on-eyes reading..

0 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (Apr 25, 2012)

although phenomenally more complicated for a site like DPR than your comment suggests, this is actually obvious enough that it's already in the plan. Just don't hold your breath :-)

1 upvote
NarrBL
By NarrBL (Apr 26, 2012)

Ok, Simon, fair enough -- and thanks for acknowledging. A nice day your way.

0 upvotes
AV Janus
By AV Janus (Apr 24, 2012)

This was waste of resources... And people who did the programing know it.
I hope DPReview has put in a request for resources for a complete site overhaul to bringbit into sync with the rest of the internet.

It is embarrising that the only effective way to search this site is to go on Google and type: dpreview "thing you want to find"

0 upvotes
unotisto
By unotisto (Apr 24, 2012)

Well done. Searching for "K-5" actually gets you Pentax K-5 and not Canon 5D.

0 upvotes
Bryan Costin
By Bryan Costin (Apr 24, 2012)

Like a lot of search engines it seems to have problems distinguishing short search terms that aren't actual words. For example, searching for Canon 40D (no quotes) gives all sorts of irrelevant results that happen to contain the number 40 and the letter "D". Using quotes returns more useful results, but still pulls in lots of other "canon" stuff. Since most cameras have short, arbitrary combinations of letters and numbers as names, this can be a problem.

0 upvotes
Albert de Bruijn
By Albert de Bruijn (Apr 24, 2012)

First impressions:
A search for "Time Lapse" vs "Iimelapse" gives different results.
Also, these searches give me in excess of 16000 results which is not very useful and I don't see anyway of further filtering the results.
I do not know the search engine you are using, but this is the main flaw with full text search engines against large databases like DPreview - you get HUGE numbers of results and no way of filtering.

I've seen results from a search engine called Exalead, which built a keyword summary "on the fly" from the initial search results. In other words, it reported that in the result, "X" items contained the keyword YYYYYY and "Z" results contained the keyword BBBBBB. Each of these keywords was a link allowing you to drill down deeper and deeper. Pretty cool way of finding stuff.

The new beta may be able to find lots of items quickly and perhaps even more accurately, but if a search returns tens of thousands of hits, it's not very useful.

0 upvotes
itchhh
By itchhh (Apr 24, 2012)

Constructive feedback? Rather than re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic why not focus development efforts in more practical areas? The user interface is not as intuitive as it could be. What once worked years ago and through "feature-creep" this site has become somewhat daunting for a new user to navigate. Stabilize... the back end appears to crash and have to reset on a somewhat regular basis.

Just an honest non-emotional opinion.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (Apr 24, 2012)

we're working on both these areas (stability is a lot better now, a fundamental redesign of the UI is an enormous task, but it is one we're tracking towards). A lot of the stability issues came from 'under the hood' work needed before we can start work on the UI.

1 upvote
itchhh
By itchhh (Apr 24, 2012)

I have noticed an improvement on stability over the past few weeks ;) I know all to well how daunting a task the UI can be and I'm sure when you get there is will be awesome. Keep up the good work.

0 upvotes
Len Schweitzer
By Len Schweitzer (Apr 24, 2012)

If you really want to improve your web site, why not render it with black type on a white background (or similar variation) to tat it can be read without strain. Your emphasis on graphics trumps visual comfort. I routinely use "Readability" to avoid eyestrain at dpr.

0 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (Apr 24, 2012)

i agree with you, but last time we polled our readers (July 2011) we got 61% wanting us to leave it as it is, 20% wanting black on white. Pretty decisive.

0 upvotes
Len Schweitzer
By Len Schweitzer (Apr 29, 2012)

Poll results depend on how question was framed. Next time you poll, perhaps you could ask for preferences among several choices. For example, white type on black, black type on white, white type on gray. Alternatively, if feasible, actually demonstrate several options and let readers decide.

Among other photography sites, one uses white on black, another uses 12-14pt white on medium gray, another gives readers the option of black/white or white/black.
Take a look at your own web site at panels where the designer departs from 9 pt white/black and uses, for example, 11/12 pt blue/black. Type size also matters.

Perhaps you'll find this web site useful:
http://uxmovement.com/content/when-to-use-white-text-on-a-dark-background/

Thanks for allowing me this extended comment.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Apr 24, 2012)

You guys sure complain a lot.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
summicronf2
By summicronf2 (Apr 24, 2012)

It ROCKS!, I just tried it and it gave me even more than expected. RIGHT ON!!!

1 upvote
SiPat
By SiPat (Apr 24, 2012)

I too hate the new search -- the old one lacked a lot of parameters but I always managed to pinpoint exactly what I was searching for -- no longer.

It seems that the more effort put into improving (I use the term loosely) DPR forum the less intuitive it gets.

It's like Coca Cola trying to replace original Coke with a funny tasting raspberry version.

0 upvotes
JWest
By JWest (Apr 24, 2012)

Raspberry coke would be awesome. I've not even tried the new search yet, but just by your analogy I know I'm going to love it.

3 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Apr 24, 2012)

Coke tried out these super computer controlled drink machines here in Salt Lake for a while. You could mix all kinds of flavors. Raspberry Coke was pretty good, actually.

1 upvote
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (Apr 24, 2012)

the old search didn't even index half our content, so I'm assuming you were lucky before :-)

1 upvote
SiPat
By SiPat (Apr 26, 2012)

All I can say is that it made me puke...

0 upvotes
szlevi
By szlevi (Apr 24, 2012)

Haha, I love your example... :D

2 upvotes
Basco
By Basco (Apr 24, 2012)

hope it is more evolved than the last search engine founded on the site ...

0 upvotes
m oLeathlobhair
By m oLeathlobhair (Apr 24, 2012)

Where is it? I cannot find a link to the beta site

0 upvotes
Sergey Borachev
By Sergey Borachev (Apr 24, 2012)

I agree, all these changes do little for me. Just get more reviews out, and also get the website uptime up. The connection problem is getting worse with more frequent problem accessing the DPReview site . Thanks.

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Apr 24, 2012)

The site never goes down for me, and I check multiple times per day.

Also with the way most of you guys are, you'd just complain MORE if they did more reviews. The score would be too high based on the list of Cons, or they wouldn't review the exact obscure camera you were waiting for.

1 upvote
Eugene CH
By Eugene CH (Apr 24, 2012)

Hi, it seems to me the results of SEARCH are not sort by date. If so, I think it should be corrected. Indeed, I tried to search "Adobe Bridge". Results were sorted as follows: Jul 18, 2005 / Nov 16, 2007 / Dec 14, 2006......I expected the sort results in decrease order of date, first the recent. Thank you. Best Regards, Eugene CH

Comment edited 44 seconds after posting
1 upvote
farrukh
By farrukh (Apr 24, 2012)

Thanks guys but how about a decent mobile web interface, if you see how it appears on a smartphone you might simply disable it!

0 upvotes
Josh Hays
By Josh Hays (Apr 24, 2012)

A mobile version is coming soon!

0 upvotes
martin woods
By martin woods (Apr 24, 2012)

i just had a quick zoom around it, think it's a big improvment, looks good, thanks.

0 upvotes
InTheMist
By InTheMist (Apr 24, 2012)

Hm, I think that the search could still be improved. For example, I searched for "Nikon 17-55" without the quotes and the highest search terms were both from Canon blogs /and/ forum posts.

Still, an improvement, I would say at a first look.

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Apr 24, 2012)

I searched for Barny.

It gave back 106 results.

The first two entries were FUJI Orbs.

Doh!

.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (Apr 24, 2012)

what would you expect a search for 'Barny' to produce?

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Apr 25, 2012)

Simply based on the number of letters, I'd expect at least a 17% reduction in search relevance.

1 upvote
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Apr 25, 2012)

I was waiting for the search engine to suggest: Barney

As what a good search engine would try to do...

But it's all good...

.

1 upvote
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (Apr 25, 2012)

Google we are not

0 upvotes
SammyToronto
By SammyToronto (Apr 24, 2012)

I'm not a fan; it returns results that don't contain the search criteria and the results can't be filtered as extensively as before (that I could find anyway).

3 upvotes
M Irwin
By M Irwin (Apr 24, 2012)

I HATE IT!!!

just kidding

0 upvotes
Total comments: 52