This might seem obvious to most but I’ve see this done numerous times by my clients during training sessions when we discuss using the Search bar.
Many users type something in the search bar and immediately hit the Enter key to get to see the results, as if they were using a search engine like Google, because that is what we intuitively do, right?
But there is a clear difference when you use the search bar in Asana:
When you type and hit the Enter key:
So for example, if I am searching for ‘product’ and I’m looking for a Team or Portfolio or a Goal and I hit the Enter key I will be limited to results in the following categories:
Tasks, Messages, Projects, Tasks in Templates
Read more about ‘Full text search’ in the Asana guide
When you type and DON’T hit the Enter key:
However, if I don’t hit Enter after I type ‘product’ I can see all the below results (beyond Tasks and Projects) such as: People, Templates, Portfolios, Messages, Goals, Project Briefs, Teams & Tags.
Expand to see all the lovely results!
Read more about ‘Basic search’ in the Asana guide
and don’t forget to use Ctrl+K (or Cmd+Kon Mac) to start typing directly in the search bar!
Helpful, @Richard_Sather; thanks!
But I want to add two more major distinctions between the two search approaches (using Asana’s names for them):
- Basic search (immediate popup results via autocomplete)
- Supports a partial-word search
- Searches on title only; will not search across every item’s text fields (including names, descriptions, and comments)
- Full text search (hit enter key to get search results view)
- Does not support partial-word search
- Searches both on title and across every item’s text fields (including names, descriptions, and comments)
For some more related info, see also:
(Another post in 2020 also indicated it hadn’t been addressed yet.)
Another minor point: Besides the entities you listed as Basic search categories, there’s one more too: Tags.
Note: Not a solution but marked as such to elevate a key reply
@lpb, thanks for the feedback and helpful references.
I’ve now added ‘tags’ to my OP, thanks!
Rather than trying to re-train our brains on the specifics of how Asana search works, it would be best to update the search to match our mental models of having all search result types on both the type-ahead results and search results page.
I appreciate that you feel that way, but I’m not so sure I agree, and maybe others are split too.
To me, autocomplete and full search with results page are two different functions, and I actually believe making them the same will degrade the experience for at least one of these use cases, potentially both!
So I’m afraid I’d not vote for that suggestion, but do feel free to post it in Product Feedback if you’d like.
Heather’s post doesn’t ask that the two features be made the same. Indeed, searching titles vs. searching all fields is a very significant difference in functionality, and is a welcome distinction between the “at a glance” style of basic search and the full page experience of full text search. However, it is quite reasonable to expect that all searchable categories appear on the full text search page, and including them would in no way degrade the experience of either type of search. It would be an enhancement to full text search. Basic search would remain useful for its speediness.
As a final comment, even if this change did make basic search obsolete, so what? It does not make sense to withhold an enhancement to a useful feature because it may make another feature obsolete. If improving full text search did in fact make basic search obsolete (in the sense that users were observably abandoning it, something I do not think would actually happen), then that’s a big win for Asana! In that case you would not have to maintain two search features, only one!
Welcome, @Dylan_Bargteil, and thanks for your comments.
We might each be interpreting Heather’s post (“… update the search …”; which search?) a little differently, so apologies if I misunderstood. And we don’t know for sure, but I’d bet that Asana’s designers might consider that adding the extra functionality to the Advanced Search dialog could degrade its usability, even if it added extra functionality.
Re making basic search obsolete: Just to be clear, I haven’t raised this notion and am not sure how basic search would ever become obsolete because autocomplete is more immediate and efficient than opening a new dialog.
100% with that - it almost goes against every other search function to NOT hit enter, even if enter does nothing. Is there a solid reason to explain why both actions perform that different?