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Feedback (Classic UI)

Introduction

Funnelback includes support for allowing users to provide feedback on search result pages. This information may be helpful to the search administrator in adding best bets and query expansions to help users find the results they are looking for.

Displaying feedback links in search forms

The following section of HTML can be added to a Funnelback form file to include a feedback link in the search page.

<s:Plugin name='FeedbackLink'>Help us improve these search results</s:Plugin>
or
<s:Plugin name='FeedbackLink' style='popup'>Help us improve these search results</s:Plugin>

The first version provides a link titled 'Help us improve these search results' which takes the user to a new page, where as the second will show the feedback page in a pop-up window. The user will then have the opportunity to enter any additional comments, including the correct answer to their query, and will be returned to the search result page.

Examining feedback data

Funnelback does not include any tools for examining the feedback data, however it is written to a log which is easily read with spreadsheet tools such as Microsoft Excel or Open Office Spreadsheet.

The feedback information will be stored in the following locations on your Funnelback server.

<install_root>/data/<collection_name>/live/log/feedback.csv
and
<install_root>/data/<collection_name>/archive/feedback.DDDDDDD.csv

The first location will contain the feedback for the collection since it was last updated, where as the second will contain date-stamped files from previous collection updates.

Feedback Log Format

The feedback log is in CSV (comma separated value) format, which allows it to be imported into a spreadsheet. Some sample lines from the raw CSV log might look like:

war,,,http://server/search/search.cgi?query=war&collection=test
war,A user comment,http://example.com,http://server/search/search.cgi?query=war&collection=test
peace,,,http://server/search/search.cgi?query=peace&collection=test
peace,Another comment,http://site.com,http://server/search/search.cgi?query=peace&collection=test

The comma-separated fields are described in the following table:

Field no. Field name Notes
1 query The user's original query
2 feedback The full text of the comment entered by the user
3 suggested_url A URL suggested by the user that they felt should have been present in the results
4 search_url The URL of the search results page

  • It is expected that the feedback log records each visit to the feedback page e.g. it will have at least one line if no feedback is given, and two lines when feedback is actually entered.
  • This behaviour is implemented to handle cases where someone visits the feedback page and then hits the browser "back" button.

Customising feedback page branding

The default feedback page is displayed with very minimal branding, however it may be appropriate to customise the display of this pages to match the search page branding.

The display of this page is defined by a template stored in <install_root>/web/templates, which uses the Perl HTML::Template module.

Each of the templates distributed with Funnelback are named page-name.tmpl.default. To customise the display for a given page, copy the file from page-name.tmpl.default to page-name.tmpl, and make any required changes to the page-name.tmpl file. Please be aware that upgrading to future version of Funnelback will replace the .default files with new versions, and hence these files should not be edited directly.

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