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What is the status of improving the search functions?

Ace Contributor

As others have noted, the UpWork job search process is unbelievably clumsy.  It lacks basic features that would make searching easier and I would like to know if Upwork is working on improving the search process.  If se, when can we expect to see improvements?  Here are some issues:


I am new and want to look through several hundred listings in several categories.  It is virtually impossible.   UpWork probably thinks we should narrow our searches but that is not what I want to do.  Either I need to search through a large number at the same time or search category by category or skill by skill.  Either option is laborious.


The program only allows 10 results per page.  Why?  We should be able to see many more results on one page if we choose, especially since it is so cumbersome to navigate the pages. 


The program should automatically return us to the last page we were on. This is common sense. After looking at the details of a specific job, the program only allows us to start over on the first page.  So, if the job I was looking at is on page 17, it is maddenly difficult to return to it.


We should be able to enter the specific page number we want to go to.  As it is now, only five pages are available to be selected.  Why in the world is it so limited?


I thought it would make the process easier if I use “Saved Jobs” to examine the details of positions I am interested in.  However, “Saved Jobs” is also cumbersome.  It suffers from the same issues:  always returns to the first page, only lets us see a few jobs at a time, and doesn’t allow us to specify a page number.   In addition, there is no way to sort or prioritize the jobs.


For all jobs, it would be helpful if we could enter information for our own use directly on the listing so that we don’t have to review the same jobs repeatedly.   Also enable us to categorize them by priority or other criteria so they can be sorted that way.    Yes, we can give them a thumb down but having to give a reason every time is time consuming.  In addition, one of the most common reasons for thumbs down is that the job has been filled.  However, that is not one of the options.  Why not?


Finally, one of the most frustrating features is the large number of jobs that have already been filled but are still posted.  It should be so simple to prevent this.  When a client posts a job, they specify how many hires they intend to make.  The default should be that when that number of freelancers are hired, the listing disappears.  If a client has filled the stated number of hires but still wants to keep the job, the onus should be on them to change the number of hires.


Many or all of these issues must have been pointed out before.  Are they at least on a list of critical improvements?  How are freelancers able to influence what is worked on?  Will usability tests be conducted with actual freelancers or just with internal personnel?



Community Leader

Hi Cathy - 


First, welcome!

Second, thanks for the feedback.

Third, I'm sorry it's been so frustrating for you to search.  


I'm the Product Manager for Job Search and agree with most, if not all of your assessments. To answer your last questions first, the fact that you wrote this up indeed influences how I prioritize issues, and yes, much of what you've mentioned is in progress (I had a separate post about the speed of implementation, but long story short, I like you wish I had the ability to implement faster). As for usability tests, this has been my process over the past year:


  • Ask questions in the forums to get a basic idea from you all here (note: I do understand that there is a silent majority, but chatting here at least helps me verbalize the issues upwards)
  • Once I have a design/roadmap in place I share it here so you all know what's to come
  • Release said features some time after the above step
  • Analyze usage and chat more with you all to get your feedback

Additionally, I sometimes randomly survey Freelancers via email (my actual email so people can continue to chat with me) and I've conducted interviews in the past with members from our community. 


To answer your other questions: in order -


  1. Multiple categories: I don't have an answer for this. I actually don't know why, historically, this is done. Let me find out and get back to you.
  2. More than 10 results per page: We've actually discussed this idea at length, and deprioritized it to address other issues. However, I'll bring it back to the table for my team. The 'problem' we're (Upwork) facing here is trying to determine what the max number of results to return is. Returning all (something I would like) is not an option; some queries will return way too many results that could affect performance. 
  3. Returning you to the last page you're on: that's a bug, and there's a fix being worked on, if not already resolved. If the latter, we're waiting on the go ahead to release.
  4. Could you clarify here - I'm not following completely: "For all jobs, it would be helpful if we could enter information for our own use directly on the listing so that we don’t have to review the same jobs repeatedly. "
  5. Removing filled jobs: one of the big issues I'm working on for the rest of the year is to figure out how to clean up 'noisy' jobs from the job search page. This is part of that issue. 

Since we're on this topic, here are some upcoming features you might find interesting - meaning, you'll see these on production soon:

  • Filter jobs by whether or not the client has a verified payment
  • Show only jobs posted by previous clients; the job card will change slightly to show you who that client is as well
  • We're adding more info to the card as well so you don't have to click all the way through to see certain pieces of information (mock below)
  • Thumbs downing a job will minimize this job and we'll remember that you thumbs downed it - for those wanting us to 'hide' jobs again, this was the compromise between performance and getting the job out of the way. And yes, I understand it's not quite the same thing as hiding completely - I'm not trying to market it as such.
  • Showing you on the job search page whether or not you already applied to a job
  • I think that's it... I'm going off what I can remember here and my 16 month old child is going through a bout of sleep regression... so memory may be a bit fuzzy

Again, thanks for taking the time to write your initial post. Much appreciated. 


Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 5.13.49 PM.png

While we are at it: do you (finally) plan to display number of completed fixed-price jobs next to number of hours by freelancer search (when a client searches for a freelancer and checks the results)?

Hi Gabor,


We have a different team working on freelancer search in general and adding more information about jobs worked specifically. They are aware of how important this information is for the freelancer community.


It's not quite the focus of Tam's team and this thread though.

~ Valeria

Tam, thank you for sharing this info. 


Would it be possible to separate the translation jobs from the writing jobs?  I realize sometimes there is a cross-over but almost always this is not the case.


This would be a simple improvement that all writers and translators would welcome.

Hi Wendy - 


Let me take a look. No promises (mainly because I don't know why it is the way it is). 

Tam, it sometimes happens that someone is looking for a literary translator, so obviously they would like the translator to be a writer (in the creative sense) as well, so the client will post in the writing or academic category, but not always in the translation section.


I also think that, quite often, clients hedge their bets - perhaps for a higher response - and post in various categories. All a client has to do, is to post a well constructed RFP in the right category. Just sayin' . . .


A well-constructed RFP . . .


. . . rather important key words that somehow don't seem to compute with the Upwork algorithm or many clients' minds.


I'm going to jump in and possibly save Cathy a few keystrokes. I look at "For all jobs, it would be helpful if we could enter information for our own use directly on the listing so that we don’t have to review the same jobs repeatedly" and envision a per-job notation (or tagging?) system. (When I have seen this before, it also involved a save function into a separate watch list, presumably to avoid clogging up the results interface or making it too porous from the reader's side. However, given that we can "tailor" results [see below] that might not be necessary.)

As someone who recently bemoaned the lost hide function, I'm personally happy with the minimize compromise. That would let us see our rejections at a glance and not have to re-read  them to re-recognize the dealkiller. Works for me.

Thanks as ever,

Community Guru

Tam, thank you, sincerely.


You guys really need to come to talk with freelancers here more often. That means other teams too. First because it's a good way for you to get valuable insight, and then because when issues arise, people tend to be way less pissed off if a developer takes the time to explain what's going on. Because then people see there are real folks working on their issues.

"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless

Hi, many a times there are jobs that don't get much proposals and get down on the list with time. So when I start searching for a job whether there is any scope or not, I see a lot many hired ones and, then navigating on pages 6 or 7 or may be older, there I could see jobs that still have the scope. Since there is no way yet to indiacate hired/unhired on the job posting, one need to browse many jobs before raeching an older one. This may not be feasible everytime. So is there a way to filter out the older-unhired jobs with proposals 0-10?




Thanks in advance!

Hi Shalin,


Currently no, but Tam, our Product Manager, is working on adding more filters to the Job Search. I'll bring your suggestion to his attention.

~ Valeria



I have the impression that Upwork uses "product" internally to mean something that most of us on the outside would call a function or service: e.g. "search" is, within Upwork, a "product" that Tam L manages.


Referring to Tam as the Product Manager strikes me as confusing. To me as an outsider, Upwork is the product. I don't believe Tam manages it.


It might be clearer to call Tam the Search Function Manager, the Product Manager for Search, or something similar.


The potential confusion goes beyond a quibble about corporate jargon. Tam has acknowledged that one difficulty in effecting system-wide changes at Upwork is that different "product" teams own different pieces of the service. Functions and services that a user might assume are or should be integrated and/or consistent may not be so in practice because of divisions of labor and responsibiity within Upwork.


Thanks and best,


HI Valeria


Any updates on changes in filters?


I personally would find it really useful if there were filters for the following

1) On hourly jobs, pay range per hour.  This way, those of us who are not interested in jobs that pay below minimum wage can eliminate them

2) A filter for those who are only seeking job success scores of 90 and above. The rest of us don't have to apply, unless we think we have a shot. 




Tom U

Hi Thomas, 

I'd just like to clarify that there are no budgets for hourly contracts as this is usually dependent on the hourly rate you bid, or on the hourly rate displayed on your profile. 

For your second point, there are no filters to remove posts with a requirement of a 90% and above Job Success Score, but I would like to note that you could also filter these results by ticking the experience level. 


Screen Shot 2017-07-19 at 11.56.30 AM.png

~ Avery
Thankyou Valeria, I really appreciate the queries/feedback being taken up by the upwork community so promptly. It gives me a real time feel of the system. Thankyou once again and I look forward for the same flow in its implementation. Its gonna help us a lot bothways in searching the job as well as a job poster in getting enough proposals on his postings. Thankyou once again!