Recently the search box in the corner began elongating itself to take up about half of the page width (approximately out to where the username would be). This elongation takes place after typing the first character of a search query. The shift would be more expected if it happened upon clicking in the box rather than only after starting to type, but either way it's a little confusing to the eyes. What is the purpose of this feature?

  • Tag bug? Presumably it's intentional....
    – msh210 Mod
    Commented Aug 12, 2011 at 19:35
  • Does a bug have to be unintentional? I was just using that in place of complaint, which is what I really meant. But I genuinely am curious why they would do that.
    – WAF
    Commented Aug 12, 2011 at 21:52
  • Haven't read it yet, but here's an entry point to the MSO discussion: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/101862/…
    – Isaac Moses Mod
    Commented Aug 12, 2011 at 22:14

1 Answer 1


Generally this is to encourage people using more words in search. Larger box, more words, etc. If the box was made very large by default, it would take up so much room that it would displace other necessary elements in prime real estate. Hence, expanding "on demand".

See other services that do this in my answer here:

Please tone down or remove the auto-expansion of the search box

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