Product table usability destroyed - Please revert asap!

Digi-Key has long had the best parametric product tables in the industry, and this the #1 reason Digi-Key is my primary research and shopping resource when working on a new design. Mind you, there are aspects I have often cursed and long wished were improved, but with a few exceptions, they’re simple, thorough, and effective.

As of today with a new design refresh, that has all been thrown out the window. While the product tables look a little prettier, they are now an unusable mess.

Previously, there were real UI listboxes, etc. that behaved like normal listboxes in all other software on my computer. I could easily navigate them with keyboard and mouse, using normal OS conventions for navigating and selecting, such as (on Windows) holding shift while pressing the up or down arrow to quickly select a range of items to filter on, or using combinations of shift, ctrl, and mouse clicks to select various contiguous and noncontiguous subranges.

This no longer works. Now I must individually click on every … single … item in the list that I want to filter on. Arrow keys and shift/ctrl modifiers no longer work when navigating and selecting in lists.

It appears you have replaced the real list boxes and other controls (which follow OS UI conventions) with simulated ones based on DIVs and SPANs.

There are other weird, non-useful changes as well, like the Apply All button is no longer always available. (I can’t, for example, simply enter a quantity in the “View Prices At” box and hit the Apply button like I used to, because the Apply button doesn’t light up until I make some other change.)

This is not usable. Please revert this change immediately.

5 Likes

@SWB

I have forwarded this to the UX team and have asked that they review your post.

I just want to say thanks for the feedback and that we are aware of the parametric filter order is off. We are working diligently to fix this.

2 Likes

Thanks, Jeremy!

However, to be clear, my complaint is not with the order. My complaint is with the UI mechanics.

Before yesterday, I believe you were using HTML SELECT elements for the listboxes. The browser renders these using the OS listbox control, and it behaves like any other standard listbox in the OS, respecting all standard keyboard and mouse navigation and selection conventions.

As of yesterday, you are now simulating the listboxes using DIV and SPAN elements and a bunch of JavaScript. These do not work at all like standard OS listboxes. In particular, there is no keyboard navigation or selection supported at all, and the mouse navigation and selection is entirely inconsistent with how listboxes normally work. This has completely destroyed the ability to interact efficiently with the parametric tables.

1 Like

Wanted to second what the prior poster mentioned. Bypassing native UI makes site interaction extra difficult since it breaks well-established O/S specific paradigms. Guessing changing normal clicks to item-toggle was an attempt to solve the problem of long parameter lists. Unfortunately it is just a hack that makes your site operate differently than almost every other site and all native apps.

Here are some other issues for your consideration:

Basic product search returns 500 errors in Firefox with strict security settings (both OSX and Windows).

Basic product search is broken. Search on AVR32DA32 and get a bunch of results for other AVR parts. If I was looking for an XMEGA part, I would have typed in “XMEGA”. Seriously?

The pricing column is semi-broken. Sort by price in a popular component category (say MOSFET) and the pricing includes results like “Active”, “Obsolete”, etc instead of the price. Looks like it pulls the wrong data column. Combine with the sorting bug and you get to scroll through bogus results to get to legit priced items.

View-prices-at is sometimes broken. Go into “microcontrollers” and filter on “32-TQFP (7x7)” and select in-stock parts with minimum quantity 10. The pricing column ignores the quantity 10.

Some purchasing is broken. From above, select “ATMEGA88V-15AST” (the first item with a legit listed price, albeit not at quantity 10). In stock says 3692. Click to the item page. Purchase options are “cut tape qty 2000”, “cut tape qty 0”, “digi-reel qty 0”, “digs-reel qty 0”. Below it shows “cut tape, qty 1, unit price $0.61”. You cannot purchase the product in any quantity other than 2000 (which makes no sense for cut tape). This looks like a purchase-blocking bug. Have seen multiple examples of this one.

There are other issues, but hopefully these illustrate the current challenges of using the new site. Best of luck on getting things resolved.

2 Likes

Maybe this should be a new thread, but I’ve noticed and will second most of the Greg’s observations as well. In particular this one:

Basic product search is broken. Search on AVR32DA32 and get a bunch of results for other AVR parts. If I was looking for an XMEGA part, I would have typed in “XMEGA”. Seriously?

It seems you have switched to using a “fuzzy” search algorithm, i.e. using heuristics or machine learning to try to “guess” what the user means despite what they actually type. That’s often (but not always!) super useful on a general-purpose search engine like Google. However, it is absolutely not useful on a site like Digi-Key. Electronic part numbers are complicated, and it’s not uncommon for minor differences in part number to separate two completely different parts. We need strict substring searching, as it was before, for search to be at all useful. (Or even better, if you want to actually make an improvement, a formal and precise query language. Maybe regex.)

1 Like

Difficult to understand what the fuzzy search criteria is. Seems selectively triggered and difficult to make sense of it. AVR32DA32, AVR64DA32 and AVR128DA32 all give different results. They are merging the literal search results with a AVR keyword match sub-filtered by the. search string divided into tokens. So AVR32DA32 returns the literal plus all AVR parts that contain 32 and DA. Lots of parts have 32K of this or IrDA so there you go. The AVR-DA part numbering is pretty odd and likely makes the problem worse. Seems most prevalent within the micro controller category.

Digikey-- if you insist on keeping this “feature”, please make it optional. Making quoted-strings strictly literal (as google does) is one workaround.

The issue I reported with Firefox strict security failing is related to the new site having a dependence on the Referer: header in some XHR requests (the server returns a 400 error). Referer is a major privacy leak and should never be required. In your case, the field is not required as the same information is in your GET query.

I fully agree. Here’s an example where pricing/search is completely, utterly broken:

As well, the merging of cut tape/digireel/tape&reel component SKUs into a single component, while theoretically a good idea, has massively decreased the signal to noise ratio on the product selector since there is now 3-4x the amount of text in the “DK Part #” column, which you need to visually associate with the “Package” field in order to figure out which P/N corresponds to which product packaging.
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The fact alone that I’m unable to effectively sort by price has significantly hindered my ability to effectively use Digikey - in the case of those AVRs from the screenshot, I found myself having to go to Mouser to actually find the part number I needed, which is something I have legitimately never needed to do before.

I don’t have a fundamental issue with UI improvements — I think there are a few points in the “old” UI that could be iterated/improved for sure — but this is the wrong way to do them. I’d at least appreciate a way to stick to the old UI while the new one is being debugged/polished.

2 Likes

+1

The new design is unusable. The layout is much worse, harder to read, takes up more space. But the biggest issue is the extreme unresponsiveness. I will make in any input to scroll the page and 1-3 seconds later, either the page jumps a random amount, or nothing happens.

The entire product listings page is generally unresponsive as well. It seems that any search with 25 or more triggers this. Once I manage to get to under 25 results, its mostly responsive again, but then the UI and methodology changes still fight back.

Please revert ASAP or provide an opt-out. A task that should have taking 30 seconds to source a part is currently impossible without significant effort to combat the site.

Edit:
I agree, the SNR is far worse now. For example, the new price format now has a fixed five decimal places ("$8.99000") site-wide, which is high excessive for most product categories, if not all. This is even excessive on passives (lowest displayed price I could find was “$0.01000”).

Just hit that price column bug, this is should be a blocker. Trigger for me is to sort by lowest price. The only workaround I have found for going back to price sort is to either sort by most expensive be go to the last page and work in reverse instead, or start the search over from the beginning.
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Given the random nature of the new search behavior, I cannot be confidant it’s sorted by lowest price by default. Edit: Yup, the default sort order is now not by lowest price (unable to determine what default sort is), so there is currently no means to sort by price expect by highest.

Another bug, when the cursor is on random areas of the product table, the page cannot be scrolled. Trying to do so only wiggles the table within in frame up and down slightly. I cannot determine the behavior of where this dead area will be, it’s usually within the 3 row below the header, but it has also extended down to the bottom of the screen. Moving the cursor around seems to shuffle the height of the dead zone. This is also varies each search, most of the time its pretty bad, sometimes its worse, a few times it’s impossible to scroll at all without manually grabbing the browser’s page scroll control.


That issue effects mouse wheel, arrow keys, page up/down keys. Using space bar to jump an entire page down seems to work, but that is an awful way to scan tables and is only one way.

The new product details layout is a mess. Too large, info denesity too low. Switches to mobile layout at anything less than 3/4 width on a 2k monitor.

3 Likes

First I want to thank everyone who has taken some time to let us know how the changes are impacting the use of our website. I have been in contact with our search team and they are working on fixes the issues that have been brought forward and improving the customer experience of search on our site. Currently I don’t have an ETA on changes but they are working on several aspects that are causing frustrations at this time.

-Robert

2 Likes

Cool. Hoping this gets fixed before I need to source an actual BOM. The 2 part order I sourced earlier this week should have taking only a couple minutes, instead it took multiple hours across two days. Plus I’m not confident that new search didn’t omit better matching parts due to the broken filtering issue.

1 Like

Can you roll back the updates or make an older version available while the developers sort out the bugs? This is quite a bit more than “aspects causing frustration” when so much functionality is broken.

In addition to the broken features the new UI is significantly slower to load and less responsive. I think this is because of replacing optimized, built-in functions with naive, manual implementations.

I would be happy to help test beta versions, but the user facing website is not the place for testing. Some of my coworkers are having issue with this too.

Edit: I found a workaround for now. digikey.co.uk still uses the old website version you can search and sort normally. The downside is all prices are £.

2 Likes

Hi Ardv1985,

Thank you for the feedback on our website.

I’ve passed your forum post along to our search/website team for continual improvement efforts and would encourage you to keep in touch on any other observations you may have on this.