Add 'Search in full text' toggle parameter to the URL so that it is retained
Ex Libris introduced a new 'Search in full text' toggle in the Primo May 2022 Release, with the option for a site to set a default while also empowering users with the autonomy to change the setting to meet their needs.
This was an excellent range of configuration options for both sites and users, but unfortunately there is a significant flaw.
If a user does choose to change this setting from the default, and then uses other Primo features such as sharing the search with colleagues by QR Code link, or saving the search for their own re-use by setting a Save Search Alert, or if they need to communicate an issue with their library via the Report a Problem tool, then this key information is not included. The user's current search is also disrupted to lose this choice, if the user needs to refresh the browser for some reason, which is quite common for factors such as needing to clear cache for link navigation.
This lack of URL element is in stark contrast to the existing expanded search toggle to include results not available in full text, which adds &pcAvailability=true / false to the URL, and has none of the UI problems detailed above.
From a user perspective, it is completely hidden that this particular choice is not retained, and there is no indication or explanation why one expansion setting is saved but not the other.
When this was raised, Ex Libris has responded that: "After discussions with product management, they have clarified that not having the URL parameter is intentional and by their design. They have stated the following: When the Primo FE UI page is refreshed, the option will go back to the default. This is because the parameter is not part of the URL, because changing it is costly and more risky."
It is unfortunate that the price of saving development time is negative impact on the usefulness and consistent behaviour of a new feature for users, with basic usability factors not considered before rolling out a feature, and leading to this idea exchange submission.
This was done in February 2023 release.
Manu Schwendener commented
This is done, no?
Thank you, Yael -- this is great news!
It seems important to note as well that the refresh behavior of the Search in Full Text toggle is different than that of the Expand My Results toggle -- once selected by the user, the Expand My Results option remains selected until the user resets it, even if the page is reloaded. The Search in Full Text and Expand My Result controls look are in exactly the same area and look exactly the same, and users would rightfully expect their behavior to be likewise the same. I believe this is another strong argument for this Idea.
> When the Primo page is refreshed, the option will go back to the default.
Oh, no -- I see this in our Sandbox right now... This is not expected, and seems a very poor experience for our users! I strongly believe that the setting needs to be "sticky". Currently, if I simply refresh the page after performing a search with the Full Text Search toggled, the toggle is lost. This seems very bad for users. Am I understanding the behavior correctly?
Giving users the option to control the search environment this way is such a boon; we anticipate that different users will embrace the settings very eagerly, with the different settings of great appeal to different users. This means that to serve the users we'll really need to know all the parameters of their searching! Otherwise, we'll be guessing, and wasting the time of our users and causing them frustration.