by anthony on 02/25/11 at 11:50 pm
Search boxes are starting to evolve for the better. What we have always seen before is the search field followed by a separating space and the button. Now what we’re starting to see now are search boxes that do away with the separating space. Some examples of this are YouTube and Twitter. This change might seem minor, but it does have some benefits to it.
When you do away with the separating space, it makes aligning the button with the field easier to get right. There are so many websites that have the search button misaligned with the search field, often resulting in the following:
This situation is like holding two magnets with opposite poles together. It’s really hard to keep them sized, spaced and aligned perfectly. A better way is to do away with the separating space and connect the field and button together. This makes the sizing, spacing and alignment of the field and button easier to pull off. A flush search box not only does away with the extra space, but it also does away with the extra work you have to do to align the field and button ever so perfectly. It takes less effort to align the field and button flush together, and there’s less room for error when you do.
A flush search box can also make the relationship between the field and button visually stronger for users. Users won’t have to visual fixate on the separating space. In a glance, they’ll quickly know that field and button function as one. If you want to take it even further, the flush alignment also allows your field an extra character space.
Simplicity is about cutting out what is unnecessary, so that the necessary can shine. A flush search box is a small example of that. There are many benefits to a flush search box. It not only looks better, but it’s easier to get right.