As you begin designing your website, or revitalizing your old one, you may start to ask yourself what components you really need. With responsiveness being one of the most successful approaches to website design, there is always the emphasis of less being more. So what about that search bar you so often see tucked into a site’s top right corner?
Search bars can be extremely beneficial to your users, especially if you have a particularly large website – think schools, hospitals, communities and non-profit organizations. It’s a way of allowing your users to obtain specific information in a short amount of time.
However, if you don’t have a very large website, adding a search bar could have some disadvantages. Adding anything to your site that isn’t absolutely necessary can lessen your user experience while making your site look armature or clunky. If you simply snag a search bar feature from a website builder, it may do the opposite of what you intend. For example, if users don’t use an exact phrase, don’t include a space between two words, or if they misspell a word, the search bar may give the impression that the information they’re looking for isn’t there, when in actuality, it is. This could inadvertently move people off your site, and you for sure don’t want that!
If you decide a search bar would benefit your site, make sure you take time to test it out.