Search: allow search by entity URL

FIbery Searching (whether the Ctrl+K variety, the Rich-Text-linking “#” variety, or a Relation field) currently has some very frustrating limitations – namely:

  1. Inability to limit the search scope (either manually or intelligently).
  2. Insufficient detail in search results to distinguish similarly-named results.
  3. Poor index coverage (only Name and Rich Text fields).

If I want to link to a Task “BUILD Homepage” in a Rich Text by typing “#BUILD Home”, I may get 20 results that all present the exact same name – BUILD Homepage – with no additional detail! – because my Task Names do not include their Project Name. So the search results give me no way to tell which Task belongs to which Project. :cry:

This is, frankly, embarrassing.

Asana’s solution is to organize search results into different sections for different entity types (Project, Task, etc.), and each result is also shown with additional context/detail.

A temporary work-around for this frustrating Fibery limitation could be to index entity URLs. Then we could at least use other methods to find the entity we need, and simply copy its URL to where it should be linked (i.e. enter its URL in the Search to locate the actual entity).

The real solution is more like:
1) Increase the amount of detail displayed in all search results
2) Search scoping
3) Better index coverage, so we could e.g. include (part of) the Project Name when searching for a Task, to narrow the results.
4) Bonus points for intelligently ranking search results by “proximity” (or some similar metric) and displaying the reason for each search result’s position (e.g. “Same Project as current entity”).

Or how about this for an idea :bulb: – When I hover over a search result’s Public Id, show a popup with more details on that entity, like maybe all its pinned fields – even better if they are active!

I don’t know if you had discovered, but you the public id is also indexed, so you can search for an entity’s id number.
I sometimes find that useful if i know the exact thing I’m looking for.

1 Like

Might be useful to surface Public Id in the search results! Along with all the other fields that hopefully will soon be indexed…

It shows on the right hand side:

1 Like

:bulb: How about this for an idea – when I hover over a search result’s Public Id, show a popup with more details on that entity, like maybe all its pinned fields – even better if they are active!


I can’t emphasize how much of a pain this is for me:

There was an extensive discussion on this in many of the links above, in particular Filter search results based on Field Values. I really hope search receives more attention from the team in the near future.

1 Like

Without knowing the implementation details of Fibery’s search I don’t know if your suggestion would somehow be easier as an “interim”, but from a naïve perspective it seems like they should just focus on more long-term, substantive, but hopefully still manageable chunks of search enhancement. As @cannibalflea points out, there are several other related requests.

To me a better direct and immediate solution to the very real issue that you point out (given Michael’s prior comments on the difficulty of indexing all fields for search) would not be to index the URLs, but rather to simply show more information for results in the search box. This seems to me to be less kludgy, and also has long-term value, making it hopefully an “easy win”. There already appears to be ability to do such things (show more fields) in other contexts using what look like similar display mechanisms/components (I could be wrong, but they seem similar in e.g. List Views). And the recent move to Panel-based search also seems to provide more width/screen real estate (at least in my 4k screen situation) to allow for easily viewing those extra fields.

Maybe the obvious way to control it is even to show pinned fields, though I’m not sure as “hierarchy”/relationships might well be the most important thing to show in Search, e.g. the specific Project Entity that a Task is related to (vs., say, assignee or status, which you might otherwise pin on Entity View). Still it might be workable. Or, like in the in-line entity linking, they might just choose some sensible fixed subset of fields (though if I recall, that too will be customizable soon?).

Alternatively or additionally, as you point out, perhaps a popup with more info on-hover (not sure it even needs to be just the ID, I might like a bigger hover target for the popup, i.e. more of the width of the search result…).

1 Like