Improving the directory search
Short, concise description of the idea
The way the directory results display by default is very user-unfriendly.
Full description of the idea
If you do a Directory search, the results that are returned display as a table of userpics. They are not sorted in order of last updated, although the trained monkeys seem to make a slight effort in that direction before giving up.
The way that the basic interest search (http://www.livejournal.com/interests.bml) returns its results is much more intuitive: as a list in order of most recently updated, and communities have a short description beside the comm name. However, the basic search is limited to the first 500 communities created, which may not be the most relevant.
I suggest that the best features of both searches be combined. The Directory search results should display as a list by default, with the community descriptions the way the basic search does. Displaying by userpic would still be available as a user choice. This option should also include the short community description, which it currently doesn't. In addition, the sorting should be fixed so that it displays in order of the most recently updated.
The other alternative would be to improve the basic search so that it returns the most relevant communities the way the Directory search currently does, but there may be issues with server load and account levels with this method.
- More intuitive; greater usability.
- The Directory search as it is is verging on broken, if not already there. It's not worthwhile as a Paid/Plus benefit.
- There might be some issues with server load if the basic search is changed to find the 500 most recent communities instead of the 500 earliest, although caching and updating on a schedule might mitigate this.
- I don't see any problems with the other implementation, making the Directory search results display in the same way the basic search currently does. That would in fact save bandwidth by not displaying all the userpics.