&48/ The State of the Browser Search Field

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D70-2005-10-14-162209

We just came across Seth Godin's post 'Thinking About Domains'.

Seth states: "For a long time, clueless surfers would type a word into the address bar of their browser, figuring it was some sort of magic search engine. Type "gloves" into the address bar of Safari, and yes, it will take you to www.gloves.com. But Firefox and others are wising up and connecting that spot to the search engines. Type 'gloves' into Firefox and you'll automatically go to the number one result on Google. Research shows that the number of people who accidentally end up on these sites is going down."

Our question is: Why are there two different UI elements in the first place, one for the URL - the other for Web Search? Both are text fields with an action button attached: "Go to the address" in one case, "Find this term" in the other.

Combine those two into one element and let the Browser figure out if an address or a search term was entered. As a side benefit the Web Search field could be recycled into a Page Search field, thus making it unnecessary showing an additional search field in the lower left or upper right of the page or even worse in a pop-up upon hitting CTRL/CMD-F.

Read Seth Godin!

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