We have a number of internal facing web applications that rely on displaying data in a tabular layout, the tool we use is jQgrid. It has a powerful search feature that allows users to fence data and chain multiple conditions together, concept-wise it's probably the best part of the tool.
However, most of our users choose to use
CTRL+F over using the built-in search function. Right away it is very easy to see the shortcut is much more efficient for users, for some it's a natural reflex, others it is a better alternative to attempting to click a tiny target on a small screen. In addition, if a user was to choose to use the application's search feature over the browser, it's not fuzzy, there's more work involved to get results and requires a combination of user skill and patience.
Our biggest problem right now is when users search for information on paged results. The browser has no idea that there are another 20 pages with over 1000 results waiting in the wings, so when a user chooses to make use of CTRL+F they miss the big picture. What really gets us though is when the data is in a smaller amount and only pages once, and the record the user seeks is one of a handful pushed to the second page. That becomes a huge distraction.
I know the issue here isn't solely CTRL+F, it's a combination of tooling, user training, and data structure. All three of those things are pretty rigid and most likely won't change for some time.
- Has anyone ever worked through an issue like this?
- Would it be bad practice to hijack the shortcut and direct the user to use the builtin search function?