Highlighting doesn't work well with Enhanced Recent Changes. With this preference, when multiple changes for a page exist, only a summary line is shown. Coloring the summary line isn't logical, since different colors might apply to different changes hidden in the page group. So summary lines are currently left unshaded, which means users with this option don't get the full benefit of highlighting.
I think Enhanced Changes is pretty popular. (I heard it's a default on some wikis?) With a modest amount of effort, we could provide improved functionality.
Some ideas discussed for now are listed below. I'm sure there are other ideas...
Adding a colored dot in the margin next to the summary line to represent each distinct highlight color applied to a member of the hidden group. This would at least tell users what groups they need to open.
Add Collapse/Expand buttons at the top of the results page, so that users could expand all the results and scan the coloring. (Also make the Expanded state default.)
Propagate highlight status to the groups
For individual items we can apply the highlight as we do for Recent changes. The complexity seems to be in the grouping elements (those rows with a triangle at the beginning).
For grouping elements we can surface that there are some highlights inside them for the users to expand if interested. When a grouping element contains a highlighted element, the element could be highlighted with:
- A color if all child items are highlighten in such color. We can consider surfacing blended colors if there are highlights of different colors but that may add also some complexity (since rows can be blended also).
- In grey if the group contains both highlighted and non-highlighted elements. This will communicate that there are some highlighting elements inside.
An example below: