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Does anyone have any experience with the effects of repeating an element on a page to ensure it is noticed (and hopefully used!).

In my case, it's the search function I want to bring to light - however, it's on a product page and I don't want to directly draw visitor's attention away from the parts of the design aimed to convert that visitor.

Search is the best way for users to find what they're looking for on my site and I just wondered if having a fairly 'passively' implemented search feature that is repeated a couple of times throughout the design would be a good idea - so once in the header, maybe once in a 'feedback form' style button on the right or left border of the page that expands and maybe a link to the search form page within the page somewhere - "Not what you're looking for? - Search".

Is repeating the search element a good idea or should I re-consider my design?

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I think it can be an okay approach, I've seen this used especially in regards to Header/footer links. Note Stackexchange does this with the chat, blog, meta and FAQ links. –  Ben Brocka Dec 19 '11 at 17:24
    
Ah good example with the SE links - I hadn't noticed that. –  Anonymous Dec 19 '11 at 18:00

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I am not too convinced that might be too intuitive for the simple reason that having multiple search boxes might lead to the impression that you are providing localized search results for specific sections.

How about doing it how Gmail does it with their floating toolbar (refer to the attached screenshot) enter image description here

That way the search will always be prominent and you dont have to repeat it

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