A couple of users reported that they didn’t find the search on our site easily and we tracked it down to the homepage where we had a ‘clever’ mechanism in place to hide the search in the navigation bar. A user experience lesson.
When we first built the search into the navigation we thought it would be a good idea to also show a more prominent search on the homepage. We did that and realized that now we had two search fields that do exactly the same and removed the one from the navigation bar. But what we didn’t take into account is that many people use different screen sizes and a lot of our users didn’t see the search box on the homepage without scrolling down the page—thus they struggled to find any search functionality on our page until they scrolled down. Clearly a suboptimal solution for our users so that we wanted to fix.
Starting now, all users will see the search bar on every page except the search result page where the form would distract users from the main search form.