British newspaper homepage search box placement

 by Martin Belam, 14 July 2006

Whilst surveying the online searches of British newspapers, I also had a look at where they placed their search boxes on their homepage.

I found these fell into four main zones. The Mirror and The Times, along with the Daily Express and Daily Star, opted for the top left-hand corner of the page. It should be noted, of course, that The Daily Star and The Daily Express were the two British newspapers not to offer any site search facility, and the search box in question searches across the web.

The Daily Mail, The Guardian and The Telegraph all went for the top right-hand corner of the page, as did The Independent and This Is London, albeit slightly lower. The Scotsman and The Financial Times both opted for a search box that was placed towards the left-side of the middle of the page, roughly halfway down the first screen.

These placements can be seen relative to the top left-hand corner of the page in this diagram. Click the picture to enlarge the diagram to actual size.

Relative positions of newspaper search boxes

The Sunday Sport and The Sun do not appear on this diagram. The smaller relative version below indicates how far their search boxes were from mainstream placement. The Sunday Sport is the lowest box in the top section of the diagram, The Sun is the box at the bottom of the diagram, 1344 pixels below the top of The Sun's homepage.

Diagram of relative search box positions including The Sun

The newspapers that devote the greatest amount of total screen real estate to their search box were The Sunday Sport (3,996px), The Times (3,995px), The Guardian (3,916px), The Scotsman (3,652px) and The Mirror (3,519px). The remaining papers devoted on average around 2,300 pixels to their search box, except The Sun, which with an area of 1,496 pixels had the smallest search box by some margin.

Here are the placements and measurements for each of the search boxes.

The search box placements and sizes were measured using screengrabs of the site taken from Firefox running in a maximised window on a Windows XP machine with a screen resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels.

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