Planned change for the EMERSE interface -- remove "Quick Terms"

Planned change to the EMERSE user interface: Remove the “Quick terms” entry screen that allows for free text entry of terms.

Background: We currently have three different interfaces for entering terms:

  1. Quick Terms:

    • Users types their terms into a free text box.
    • Users do not have control over the colors of the terms.
    • Large numbers of terms become difficult to edit in the small text box
    • Synonym expansion is available, but not readily apparent to users, and that the synonyms features mimics the interface for Bundles which is different from the rest of the quick terms and could be confusing to uses.
    • It is not as clear what concepts are distinct from each other, and taking advantage of some of the other features (such as case-sensitive terms is not intuitive.
    • the interface of the simple text box looks essentially identical to the Advanced Terms feature even though it looks different, and this could confused users
    • In this mode users don’t have access to the other users’ terms, sharing of terms, etc.
    • It is not apparent how to use the “exclude terms” feature in this interface
  2. Bundles:

    • Searches are saved and sharable to other users
    • The colors of the terms are easy to control and remain consistent, including for synonym expansion
    • The synonym expansion feature works well with the interface.
    • Terms can be easily ordered
    • Exclude terms is easy to use
    • Users enter one term/concept at a time, making it easier to validate and provide suggestions
  3. Advanced Terms

    • This is a free text box and basically sends the queries unchanged straight to Solr which allows power users to form complex queries such as booleans, proximity searches, etc.


  • Remove the Quick terms feature, which will “force” users to leverage the more powerful Bundles feature, and leave a more unified, simpler interface
  • Most uses only enter a few terms on their own anyway, and leverage the Synonyms for broader query expansion
  • The “quick terms” was always meant to be a quick way to enter terms on a non-saved, temporary basis so that they are not saved between sessions. We will make one of the “bundles” special in that sense, so it will not be saved between sessions and won’t fill up a users list of Bundles unless they choose to save it.
  • We will rename “Bundles” to something that is clearer for users such as “Term List”

Some screen shots with commentary are also included to illustrate the issues.

Both interfaces are for entering terms for “average” users. But they look completely different
Left: Quick Terms, Right: Term Bundles

The Quick Terms (left) and Advanced terms (right) look almost identical but they work very differently

Accessing the Synonyms feature from quick terms requires clicking on the terms here (shown with arrow on left side).
The Synonyms feature looks just like the bundles, which can be confusing for users since the interface completely changes from the Quick Terms check box

With a unified interface, after removing Quick Terms, all term entry for regular users will be through this interface. The concepts of a “temporary”, non-saved list of terms will still be there, noted by the grayed out options circled below, and the “Save as Term Bundle” button which will also be renamed to make it clearer.