Last month I noted some changes on the database search results page, which made the page less cluttered and more visually appealing. This week I added another significant feature: user-entered search terms are now highlighted on the results page.
The highlighting makes it much easier to find the search term(s) in the results, in addition to serving as a reminder of the search term(s) used.
The highlighting can be informative even when you don’t get the search results you’re hoping for. Let’s say, for instance, that you are looking for songs about oak trees, so you enter “oak” as a keyboard. You’ll get results whose highlighting shows that the letters o-a-k are being matched by a bunch of words unrelated to oak trees. Too bad — but at least it’s clear why these songs about raindrops, white blood cells, and frogs are showing up. A clever user might then search for ” oak” — with a space before the word oak to avoid matching soak, croak, etc. — and find a song that really does match the search term in the intended way.