Ever get in the situation where you had to take out a design sledgehammer to make something blatantly obvious to visitors? And for just a moment there in the usability studies, just for a nanosecond, you’re thinking, “maybe the user is stupid,” before your professionalism and experience tells you that despite the skywriter pointing out the search box, maybe it was still poorly designed.
It’s easy to fall into a trap of designing around a use case or flow that the team feels is “optimal”. “Well, the user should go here, and then search for ‘palaeontology’ and change the dropdown from ‘all’ to ‘books’. We’ll make sure they notice the search box and highlight ‘books’ in the dropdown to show they should change to that.”