Activate Search Bar

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  • Idea
  • Updated 2 weeks ago
  • Not Planned
Hi,

Whenever I visit any page on imdb, I think that the search bar should automatically get selected so that one can search or write directly without selecting it. It really become easy for the users searching for movies and actors. For demo you can visit youtube.com.

Thanks,
Nikunj V. Pandit
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Nikunj Pandit

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Posted 6 years ago

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Emperor, Champion

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You mean have a little chunk of JavaScript to put the focus on it?

If so then yes, I like the idea. Very simple to implement and useful.
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Jennifer

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Emperor,
Look at all the support we have on this issue.  Can anybody imagine going to Google.com and having to click in the search bar?!  If Google is wise enough--even when they run creative art directing visitors to some special info page (an influential writer's 184th birthday, a holiday celebration, etc.)--they maintain autofocus!

Damnit IMDb just DO IT.

Please!

THANK you.
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bluesmanSF, Champion

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I am not sure why you directed that at Emperor who says he's in support, but most people that like it the way it is are not likely to come here to comment. I just happen to be here and I go from, prefer it the way it is to don't care either way. I rarely start out with a search and when I do, I don't even notice any problem. That said, there are sites where the first field is necessary and they don't activate it...that's damn annoying. I've never noticed a problem with IMDb though and rarely accidentally clickk an add of any kind (can't even recall ever doing it).

Your example is not a good one. Google's only purpose or activity is a search. Sure, the search there should start with the cursor in place. Ask 100 IMDb users what they're here for, you might get 100 different answers.

So, there's that.

There are 45 people in support. The site gets 100 million visitors per month. IMDb tracks clicks and what people are using. I would bet that if there ever is a time where the majority of users have to click and then search, they'd activate it.

So, there's that.

Chalk me up for a vote that it's not worth a change.
(Edited)
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Jennifer

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My comment was a rant, not AGAINST Emperor, just a rant.  Hope IMDb knows that half the clicks on ads, if they are accidental like mine, should be CHALKED up as zero clicks, not deliberate ad clicks.
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Nick Ouchakov

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I don't see any viable reason for IMDb to not have this feature.

When any page loads, you have two options; click/scroll using the mouse, or type something. On IMDB (and almost all sites), the most common thing would be using the mouse. Having the search textbox focused when a page loads would not in any way affect anyone trying to click or scroll somewhere.

IMDb's search bar is probably one of IMDb's most used features since they have it at the top of every single page. When you need to type something, unless its a review or the message board, it will most likely be a search. Even in those cases, you would still have to click/navigate the page using a mouse, then scroll down using a mouse to the typing area. In that case, you would only need a minor extra step, to click where you need to type. 

Implementing this feature would definitely help anyone who wants to perform a search as their first action after loading a page, while not adding any significant drawbacks to the users who wish to use the mouse or write a comment/review.

Just my 2 cents.
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Nikunj Pandit

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Yes, implementing it would be beneficial for all the users.
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Emperor, Champion

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And, while I'm sure the backroom boys know their onions, this is how to do it and why:

http://www.usabilitypost.com/2008/09/...

http://www.mediacollege.com/internet/...
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Jennifer

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Hi Emperor,
Do you think there's any way we can convince IMDb's decision-makers to just do this?  It makes no sense whatsoever that they are refusing, "not planned" or whatnot.

Thanks!
Jen
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bluesmanSF, Champion

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I like it. A pet peeve of mine, especially sites where, the only thing you can do is log in, and you have to click it first...irks me every time.

It would be helpful here because it's really the only thing to type. Anything else, you're clicking anyway.

Good idea.
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Bilal

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Would you please write an example website to see Active Search Bar. I'm wondering what kind of thing that is.
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bluesmanSF, Champion

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google.com quickly comes to mind. The flashing cursor is there on the search box when you enter the page. No need to click on it to type in a word.

I would guess it's getting less important though, with the use of tablets and other devices, for which you have to click/touch anyway, just to get the keyboard to come on.
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Jennifer

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True, but that doesn't necessarily mean tablet users don't also use desktops and/or laptops like my husband and I do.

Thanks for your replies,
Jen
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Peter, Champion

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The counterargument is that focusing on the search field might get in the way of those who like to navigate using arrow keys or keyboard shortcuts. After all, when you visit a page, the first thing you want to do isn't necessarily to search for something else.

So it is not true that it would be beneficial to all users.
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Nikunj Pandit

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Suppose if any user is using keyboard, and he wants to find some actor or movie details then it will become headache for him to navigate to search bar. It takes about 5-6 tabs to navigate to search bar. And if you already have search bar activated, then you can click a tab and can navigate the whole page through keyboard.
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Jennifer

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Would an autofocus cause a specific problem for those using arrow keys?  Would an arrow key user have to click an additional arrow key twice, for instance?  I'd really like to hear an argument that explains fully all the reasons, precisely why autofocus should not be implemented.

I want to hear from somebody that works at IMDb, directly.

You guys/gals have my email address; if you don't want to reply here send me an email.

Thank you.
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Jennifer

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Let's take a poll (is there a way to set up polls within this community?) because I'd love to discover how many people use keyboard/arrow keys to navigate this site.
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Emperor, Champion

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Actually that is dealt with in the first link I gave, who link to a slightly fancier version that deals with people using keyboard shortcuts:

http://www.whatstyle.net/articles/51/...
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Tommy

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Until they fix it, you can use my chrome extension i just made. :)

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/de...
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Emperor, Champion

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Good work.

I assume it'd be easy enough to do through Greasemonkey too.
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Jennifer

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Tommy,
Thank you!  The script works great in Chrome which we use almost exclusively, especially with IMDb and Netflix.

Take care,
Jennifer
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Jennifer

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Thank you Tommy.  And sorry for the delay--I'd forgotten my password to log in and resetting it has been on the back burner so to speak.  But I did see and appreciate your work when I was notified :)
Jen
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Emperor, Champion

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Worth flagging up that this was suggested earlier and staff say they have no plans to implement it:

https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topi...

Although if plenty of people think it is a good idea and +1 this thread...
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Jennifer

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Can you do that with this thread (flag it up)?  Thank you for your endless support on this issue! :)
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Robert M

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The website's content is great, the UI is really annoying.

It's one line of html code to correct this.

Please fix it !
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Jennifer

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Yes, IMDb -- PLEASE fix this!

Thank you in advance,
Jen
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Tech Guy

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I can't imagine why they haven't already done this.

They are not complying with standard Windows practices.
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Richard Cohen

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Hi,
As a web developer, I would have to agree. The Search field on imdb.com should initially have focus. Hope it gets done...
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Travis

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How about a hotkey to activate the search bar? Is something like that possible?
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Jennifer

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Auto-focus for the IMDb search bar please?.


Please make your "Find Movies, TV shows, Celebrities and more..." search auto-focus. It would help users like me able to more quickly find what we're looking for.
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Jennifer

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Please auto focus the search bar! Yes, I sometimes visit and don't immediately do my search, but it's very, very rare. IMDb is known as the go-to for quick info on movies, shows, actors, etc. and the site is nice, but what is their goal? To drive folks to new movies, or be a data-base resource?
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Jennifer

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Please, please, please focus the search bar. I use IMDb so often now (I work for a nonprofit with hundreds of celebrity friends. Every time we print new letterhead or do a mailing I refer to IMDb to eliminate any that have died.) Judging by all the comments above, I cannot see any valid reason not to do this. It's a simple line of java; no heavy programming required.

Look, if the concern is that they want folks to peruse the site's promos trust me, based on personal experience, I always resume my intended search once I've looked at something that caught my attention.

But again, I must restate - this is a *database* and as such, it should be ready to be searched.

Thank you again for re(?)considering.

Jennifer

P.S. It took SIX tab enters to reach search bar. This is not productive, even for those who have to "arrow" to get around. You cannot arrow btw, at least not in Firefox. And those who wish to use hotkeys - can't they still use hotkeys? I simply cannot understand the argument against this. Not even the tablet argument. There will *always* be desktop machines needed.

P.P.S. I counted 10 others, myself included, who wish for autofocus to be implemented.
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Emperor, Champion

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One suggestion is that it should be easy enough to create a Greasemonkey script to do this. I'll have a look into this later on.
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Jennifer

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Thank you. But I'm gonna bug those devs until they tire of my beggin' ;-)
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Emperor, Champion

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LOL, quite right too ;)

Although, of course, one effective way of promoting this is to pass the link to this thread around any friends you might know who'd be interested in this, as the more +1s it gets the more it demonstrates that there is a demand for it.
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Jennifer

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What exactly is a +1 ?

I will do it though! -- try to get friends to visit and +1 -- maybe they will know what it means.  I'd ask my husband (a web dev himself) but he's out of town at the moment and I can't reach him for another hour.  (Yes, I'm getting more and more impatient about this ridiculous issue that should be a non-issue.)
(Edited)
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Emperor, Champion

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This'll do the job:

// ==UserScript==
// @name IMDB Search Bar Focus
// @namespace IMDB Search Bar Focus
// @description Focus on the search bar
// @include http://www.imdb.com/*
// @version 1
// @grant none
// ==/UserScript==
window.onload = function(){

// get elements
var imdb_search = document.getElementById('navbar-query');

if (imdb_search.value == "") {

imdb_search.focus();

}

}


Just highlight it, copy it, click "New User Script" in Greasemonkey then "Use Script From Clipboard" and that should get it working.

It is pretty basic (just throwing in a check to see if you've searched for anything, as focusing on the search bar on the search results page causes the drop down quick results to appear, which is annoying if you are wanting to look at the research page - if this is what you want remove the if line and the closing bracket } or comment them out to see the effect) but it should be possible to add the code here to detect the backspace key press and navigate backwards:

http://www.whatstyle.net/articles/51/...

I might give it a go later.
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Jennifer

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Did you try your script?  Should I have my husband implement it when he returns?
Thank you!
Jen
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Emperor, Champion

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Yep that works fine:

// ==UserScript==

// @name IMDB Search Bar Focus
// @namespace IMDB Search Bar Focus
// @description Focus on the search bar
// @include http://www.imdb.com/*
// @version 1.1
// @grant none
// 1.1: Add backspace navigation code from: http://www.whatstyle.net/articles/51/focus_onload_but_keep_backspace_intact
// ==/UserScript==
window.onload = function(){

// get elements
var imdb_search = document.getElementById('navbar-query');

if (imdb_search.value == "") {

imdb_search.focus();

//This checks for backspace back page navigation - will only work if you haven't typed anything in the search box
document.onkeydown = function (e) {
if (!e) {
var e = window.event;
}
if (e.keyCode === 8 && !imdb_search.value) {
history.back();
}
}

}

}


If you type in the search box and press backspace it deletes the last character. If you delete it all or haven't typed in the search box, then backspace just takes you back in your browser history.

Which is pretty much all the features that were requested.
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Emperor, Champion

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Until they fix it, you can use my chrome extension i just made. :)


https://chrome.google.com/webstore/de...

Also one available for Firefox:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/imdb-autofocus-on-searchfor/

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inthecorner

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Actually, a couple of site updates ago, the search input box did get the focus on screen load; it was extraordinarily irritating when that feature was left out.
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Jennifer

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Wait, what?  They implemented it then removed it?
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Jennifer

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We used IMDb a lot these past few weeks searching for horror films, and it was so frustrating that the developers have still refused to honor my (and I see many others' requests).  I do not understand what they seem to think will be lost.  If a visitor sees something like a new movie ad that they are interested in, the auto-focus will not distract them from viewing.  It surely never stops me from returning to the reason for my visit.

I will ask again: PLEASE incorporate page focus in IMDb searches.

Respectfully,
Jennifer

P.S.  I love IMDb's rating system.  We found a most terrifying movie: The Conjuring.  It made up for the frustration of having to constantly CLICK to activate the search bar each time we found something potentially worthwhile.
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Travis

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Hi Jennifer, I was wondering if you'd seen my suggestion here and if that'd also address your needs: https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topi...
(Edited)
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Jennifer

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Yes, I did.  Sorry I didn't respond sooner.  I guess as a matter of principle I don't want a do-it-yourself fix for specific browsers.  Mainly 'cause we get new machines so often and have to reinstall/customize frequently.
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Luca Colella

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Autofocus on input search bar.

I've been an avid user of this site for so many years and still get mildy frustrated that the search bar - the first point to go to on the site - does not have autofocus set on it and it takes 4 tabs to select it.

Please make the searchbar easier to navigate to as someone who does not use a mouse.