Search boxes are a staple of the internet. We get lost, we stumble, they bail us out. They always have and always will.
Content strategy has come along and changed how we design. Now questions that most designers never thought about when designing a website are coming into the fold. Collectively we are using data to make educated decisions about things. It’s a scary world.
With all of this research we have developed more intelligent methods to present content and search boxes have been forgotten. They are still important and need to be included in these new strategies. I am talking about placement and results.
The search box should not be cast out into the top right corner of a website, and it should not crap out every result from your entire website.
Search needs to be about context. Using that data stuff we love so much should help us make decisions on what people are most often looking for and when. Once search results are returning the best information we must also understand when to show the search box. Personally I despise top right placement as it screams…
“MY CONTENT STRATEGY SUCKS. USE THIS BOX AND FIND YOUR OWN WAY OUT!”
Use your imagination and pretend you are a normal person viewing a website. Is search the first thing you go to? Outside of Google and Amazon I doubt it. When does someone really need the friendly presence of a search box? In the event that content strategy does not get them to the right path. Is that in the first 10% of a website? It sure as hell shouldn't be.
Get creative and show the search box some TLC by placing it in more logical places that are based on when someone actually needs it. I won’t predict those for you as every site is different. I can say it better not be automatically thrown back where it has always been. The search box has bailed you out so many times. You owe it.