Improve Asana as-you-type search results

I’m using the search bar a lot in order to find whatever task I’m trying to get to and Asana is generally good in returning relvant search results (e.g. by searching for words separately rather than interpreting the space as part of the string).

But unfortunately, it is so bad in sorting the results by relevance, that it basically nullifies most of the good and fast search algorithm. To start with, I just don’t get why completed tasks should be anywhere near the to of the search results. I have quite a few tasks with very similar names, some of which are already completed while others aren’t. If I search for the task name (rather: parts thereof), why does Asana keep showing me the completed tasks rather than the ones that are still open? It makes no sense to me.

I had a hunch that it might be sorting for most recently modified (which kinda would make sense), but - withiout doing a systematic investigation - my impression was that this was not the case since I’d also see tasks that I had completed quite some time ago.

Whatever the sorting algorith, I’d like to suggest that completed tasks are simply excluded from the search results by default. Please!!!

And, just to be clear, I’m talking about the instant search results that appear in the drop down list as you type into the search bar.

Here are some related topics:

Actually, I find this so annoying that I decided to daringly file this as a bug, even though it technically probably isn’t. But just to make a point, I’d say it’s a “design bug”.

Hi @Christoph and tanks for reaching out!

Search results are based on both on relevance (whether or not the the task is assigned to you, you’re a follower…) and activity (when it was actionned last), which might explain why you’re seeing a lot of completed tasks. If you have access to the Advanced Search, you should be able to easily filter them out!

I’ve gone ahead and moved your post to the #productfeedback so our team can keep this in mind when working on improving our Advanced Search. Thanks again for taking the time to share your thoughts with us!

A nice way of saying "so that it doesn’t get in the way of the more important issues in the #bugs:report-a-bug category :wink:

But while I don’t really mind which category this is in, I do want to emphasize that, in my mind, this is not just some feature request that should be considered when improving Asana search. This is about fixing something that doesn’t work properly. I makes absolutely no sense to display completed tasks in the quick search and directing me to the Advanced Search as a way of accomplishing what I want is turning reality on its head: if I one day need to search for a completed task, I will happily use the Advanced Search, but having to go to advanced search for finding incomplete tasks is simply not realistic.

I can hardly imagine a simpler change in the Asana code than changing the default setting for search from “any task” to “incomplete tasks”. And there are no negative effects and hence no risk associated with that change. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this can be fixed in no time, rather than putting it into the backlog for an indefinite period of time.

I totally appreciate where you’re coming from @Christoph; I’ve moved your thread to the #productfeedback category because this is an expected behavior, and to allow other users to vote for your idea, not to avoid it :slight_smile:

One thing to bear in mind: our free users don’t have access to the Advanced Search and therefore wouldn’t be able to access Completed tasks if they were not included in the “basic search” results. I’m aware this is not going to solve your issue but I just wanted to give you some additional context.