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It seems that most sites have abandoned explicit search button, assuming that users are used to “hit Enter for search” interaction.

Amazon still uses it:

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But e.g. Apple does not:

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Is there some kind of research that supports the button can be dropped?

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Not all users know that a form can be implicitly submitted by pressing Enter – certainly not in the research I’ve seen.

It can also be a barrier for mobile users because omitting the button means they have to rely on a button existing within the onscreen keyboard.

And I‘m pretty sure that not all do anyway. A quick search found this:

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The same sites that omit the submit button, make space for a magnifying glass icon so users realise it's a search box more easily.

Search boxes often omit a (visible) label (again to save space). A button/icon acts as a quasi-label for sighted users.

May as well combine the icon and button together because it works for everyone.

(Note: if your search form has more than just one input (like a scoped search) then omitting the submit button stops users from being able to submit the form by pressing Enter.)

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