It’s a small change – but Google’s making a big thing out of it.
You may have noticed, last time you visited Google, that the size of the search box has increased. There again, you may not have noticed: it’s quite a subliminal tweak, and, as search is, by its very nature, a means to an end, you may have had something else on your mind.
There was never any limit to how many words you could fit into that little Google search box, but it’s longer now, so you can see more at once.
So what is the point? Well, Google is trying to sell it as a way of emphasizing that Search is their primary and most important product, despite their diversification into so many other areas.
Champions of accessibility and usability might hail it as a welcome step too: larger fields and larger buttons are easier to see, locate, and use.
Ultimately, I suppose, it’s a design tweak, and one we’ll all get used to. Where Google leads, others often follow, so watch this space for larger search fields across the other major search engines – and other websites.