When adding a site search option to your website, one of the first things to consider is placement. Where, exactly, should you place your search box?
Many designers and developers place the search box in the right- or left-side navigation. Makes sense, right? The visitor’s eyes are already there looking for the next click, so placing the search box in those areas would seemingly put the option right in their path.
This is one of those things where convention overrules what may seem like common sense. Through the years of using the web, site visitors have become accustomed to certain elements being located in certain places. In this case, the search box is often sought out in the top right corner of the page , somewhere in or below the header for the page.
When you break that convention, you run the risk of visitors not finding or seeing whatever it is they are looking for. Site search is an important function. Therefore, you need to make sure your visitors can find it. And you do that by placing it where they are most likely to look.
Over time, some common conventions change. But the poor trailblazers are the ones who suffer while trying to change what people are used to. If that’s you, so be it. Personally, I’ll fall into the camp of giving my audience what they want, where they want.
Also, like all conventions, things may be different for your audience. Feel free to test various placements against another and go with what produces the best results from your audience.