“Run search” button – questionnaire results

We recently (March 2017) solicited feedback from users regarding the possibility of including a “Run search” button. At the moment, a search is initiated after each filter has been added via the Quick Filter Select (QFS).

Why did we ask the question?

There are two reasons why we were considering making this change:

  • We had received a request from a user who suggested we do so.
  • It would reduce the number of queries being sent to our servers, and therefore reduce the server load.

The mock-up below shows how this could look if implemented. In the mock-up the selected filters are no longer in sync with the results (as a new filter has been added since the search was last run), so the results are “disabled”, and a “Run search” button has been added.

Figure 1. A mock-up showing the “Run search” button (click image to view full size)

Results and conclusions

As of today (27 March 2017) the results are:

Figure 2. The results of the run-button survey

The results are not entirely surprising. We have always believed that there are two main search use cases in Flight Fleets Analyzer:

  1. Case 1: The “destination” users. These users know the search they want to perform – they have a specific goal or destination in mind and want to get there as quickly as possible. These users want to add the filters quickly and then run the search just once. They aren’t interested in the journey, only the destination.
  2. Case 2: The “journey” users. These users might not have a specific search destination in mind. They want to see the results change as they add each filter. The results they see might influence the next filter they add, or whether they add another filter at all.

The current version of the search has been designed to support both of the use cases described above (although it might appear to be mostly focused on Case 2).

When you add a filter using the QFS, a search is initiated as soon as the filter has been selected, but this does not block you from adding further filters.

The speed with which you can add consecutive filters is not reduced by initiating a search after each filter selection.

The previous statement is not entirely true: if the number of queries sent is so great that the server reaches its maximum capacity, this will affect the performance of Flight Fleets Analyzer and result in slower searches. But that only applies if the server hits maximum capacity, and we have done a lot of work recently to avert this scenario. We have updated the current process such that when each new filter is added, the previous query sent to the server is cancelled. This does not do as much to reduce server load as adding a run button but, given the 50:50 split in the feedback, we feel that the current process (with the cancellation improvement) is the best solution to satisfy the needs of both use cases.