Let's all search!

Dec 1, 2022 · 2 min read · Leave a comment
Will Leidheiser GitLab profile

Earlier this year, our research team set out to learn how users search for GitLab content and to better understand their experience with our global search and advanced search tools. We spoke with 12 GitLab users individually over the course of a four-week span to get their feedback on our search capabilities.

Getting feedback from GitLab users A researcher talking with GitLab users to gather their feedback.

Research insights

Our research identified that the discoverability of our search could be better. Some users had never tried out our search capabilities because they did not know we had a search bar inside of GitLab. The search bar did not visually stand out to some GitLab users, so this led them to try other means (e.g., using their web browser URL history or using another external application) to find content. In addition, we learned that even long-time users of the GitLab search bar were unaware of the kinds of content it could find. As we encouraged users to try out the search tools for our study, they would uncover new information either through exposure or by reading our documentation.

Our research helped the Global Search Product team at GitLab with future roadmap planning. Now, we need the support of our community to make iterative improvements to GitLab search tools. We have identified two actionable insight issues that you can contribute to directly to improve the search experience for all GitLab users.

Community contribution issues

Update to improve the contrast of our search bar A visual mock-up of improved contrast for the GitLab search bar.

Hints in the search bar Some examples of hints that would be shown in the GitLab search bar.

Let's contribute

Wondering where to start? Check out this blog post and our development guide and become an all-star contributor!

Need guidance or help? Feel free to leave a comment directly on one of the issues linked above, or find support in the "get help" section in our contributing guide.

Let's all contribute to GitLab's search!

“We'd like your input on improving our search capabilities” – Will Leidheiser

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