Revisiting/Improving Search and Richer Search Results
For me, there's a lot to be desired in the Shell search.
For one, the results are aesthetically unsatisfying, some of which I attribute to problems in the layout:
- there's a lot of extra whitespace in the sections, especially on the left-hand side below the application icon
- section breaks aren't as clear as they can be–just a line is pretty ineffective
- what you can and can't click in the results elements is unclear, such as the "$num more" results
- the text and symbolic icons have a lot of legibility issues (as also addressed in GNOME/gnome-shell#288 (closed)) due to not having a background
Beyond the layout issues there's some general issues with regards to usefulness and what people may expect of a search:
- searching the web (and/or other online resources) in the default browser instead of in Web/Epiphany would be more ideal (though I suspect this would require deeper integration with search provider(s) overall)
- offering to hand off the search query to other applications that do not provide Shell results, such as Software, Maps, etc.
Some Wishlist Stuff/Extras:
- doing a dictionary definition in the results like we do calculations
- integrate with online search providers, e.g. DuckDuckGo, Wikipedia, etc.
With some of these things in mind I've explored some ways of addressing them in this initial concept:
Not gonna lie, I was working on this because the other day I was being retrospective about webOS and got it going in a virtual machine, and they nailed a lot of stuff from the start in their search: Just Type (elements of which I am shamelessly copying). But search on other platforms, like iOS/macOS' Spotlight and Windows Search, is also a heck of a lot more richer than ours too.