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Search should match partial word (for example, plural form of word)

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6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

Currently the search block does not match “partial match” queries. It should match plural form of words and have an option to match synonyms or possible misspellings.

1 Comment
17 - Neptune
17 - Neptune

Indeed, it should, but you’re dreaming; probably about something like this.

But let’s explore your suggestion a little deeper. Imagine results for terms that end in “s” (which is not an ideal approach) but useful for this discussion. Should queries for plural values (which include non-plural values) rank these results in a way that boosts singular over plurals? Should possessive forms rank higher than raw plurality?

As you can imagine, even this simple suggestion quickly drags us into a lot of questions that become increasingly complex. Add fuzzy search, misspellings, and synonyms; now you have some very complex decisions to address. Then extrapolate for many different languages. I can understand why Airtable hasn’t taken quick steps to improve search functionality; it’s not easy.

I think the better way to describe how search should work is to embrace the understanding that we all have concerning the expectation of search results. And by “all”, I mean nearly every person on the planet who has grown up on the Interwebs with Google.

In my view, search (in Airtable) needs to be completely reinvented and the underlying architecture of the search feature needs to start with the premise that relevance matters. Second, it needs to embrace the security context of each user because search results about “company layoffs” is a serious security breach even if accessibility to such content is blocked.

Search is tough.