Though I hope it prompts some questioners to do a moment or two of searching before posting.
That's close to the point. In making the title bar all homogenized, the button stopped looking like a button, so people were more likely to not recognize that there was a little form there where they could enter something and push the "Search" button. I believe it has been contributing to people trying to search by pushing the "Talk" button (which looks exactly like a form button).
So I mentioned that we should put the border back on the button and jdporter was nice enough to do most of the work to make that happen (he probably should have updated Tidings, too). No, we didn't change anything about the size of the button, but then, the edges of the button were completely non-visible before, so if you perceived it as a button just because you knew it submitted a form for you, then the size of this perceived button was purely up to your imagination to determine. So I guess we know that you imagine buttons as small? ;)
I'm tempted to make the other titlebar item look like what it is as well. If we stop overriding the color of the "PerlMonks" text and preventing it from being underlined, then it will look like a link (which is what it is -- and I know several long-time visitors had never realized that).
But not knowing that it is a link has a much less significant impact on site usability than not knowing "Search" was a button, so we might not change that.
Maybe we'll do something all "Web 2.0"y and make the underline only appear when your mouse is hovering over it. Should the color change then as well? I personally think having a visual clue meant to tell you that you can click on something but that is only visible after you've finished most of the work of clicking (positioning the mouse pointer) is a rather stupid idea. But I suspect it is trendy, maybe even stylish. And such wouldn't be a bad compromise for giving people more chance to eventually realize that it is a link without making the titlebar "all ugly". (:
(Actually, having the color change when you hover seems an especially bad idea -- especially since one of the "it is a link" text colors is probably very close to or even identical to the titlebar's background color for many of our themes.)
In reply to Re^3: Search button in 'Perlmonks' header bar (use)