I am currently preparing short search boxes' style guide for huge internet
portal with lots of vertical sites.
Basic guidelines are simple: search box should be eye-catching, left-aligned
label over single input field, "Search" button (or magnifying lens icon) in
the same line and two radios (default "in current site" / "all over
Internet") below, followed by a short link to advanced search form.
Positioning is kinda doubtful, though. I thought about top of right column
(below header area with logo, navibar and so on) - BUT some of our sites are
log-in services and top-right looks like standard position of log-in form -
and I am afraid that two forms (Search / Log-in) one over another may
produce some cognitive noise. Am I wrong?
On the other hand - Yahoo!, for example, usually uses two _horizontal_
search boxes - global in the header area and local just below (or even over)
navi bar. (Horizontal search box may works for Yahoo!, but I'm not sure if
it's good solution when there's a need for some extra radios or checkboxes -
having them just below main input is far more comfortable for me).
Any suggestions will be welcome. I want to prepare some very general
usability design rules (with as little it-depends-factor as possible), which
will be apllied site-wide and used as a standard for quite a long time, so
it's very important for me to make proper decisions and avoiding potential