[tbb-dev] Search Usability Regression in v10

Peter Story pstory at andrew.cmu.edu
Wed Nov 18 20:59:15 UTC 2020

I reported this usability problem on the tor-talk list but received no replies, so I thought I’d try here. For some context, I’m a researcher at Carnegie Mellon University, and I’m considering running a user-study involving Tor Browser in the coming months. I think this usability problem might negatively impact users (in my study, and at large), so I thought I should bring it to your attention. 

> I’m seeing a small but annoying usability problem in v10 of Tor Browser (tested with 10.0.2 on a Mac). Replication:
> Open a new window
> Search using either the URL bar or the “Search with DDG” field. On the page with search results, note that the page’s URL doesn’t contain the search query in the URL parameters.
> Click on a link in the search results
> Click the back button
> Actual behavior: you are returned to a blank search page
> Expected behavior: you are returned to your search results
> I don’t see this problem in the latest version of Firefox, 82.0.3, and I don’t remember seeing this problem before Tor Browser v10. Also, I do not see this problem for searches conducted with Google in Tor Browser. 
> I’m wondering whether this was an intentional change, or something that should be fixed. Hopefully it's an easy fix: if the search is conducted using URL parameters, then the back button should work as expected. 

-Peter Story
PhD Student

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