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Subject:
From:
"Polka, Ron" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Polka, Ron
Date:
Tue, 23 Sep 2008 09:17:22 -0400
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>If you want to allow for the use of the tab key, you can default the
>focus to a hidden field just prior to the first input box. Then,
>there's no confusion with the mouse wheel, but one click of the tab
>key will bring the first field into focus.

That's a good point about the mouse wheel. In my software world, that's
not an issue for us but I can see it as an issue for the web.

I wonder how usable it is, though, to start focus on a hidden field
since (a) the user cannot see where the focus is to begin with and (b)
they have to use a keystroke just to begin the tabbing (will they even
know to hit tab to get focus on the first element, for that matter). 

Just some thoughts.

Ron Polka

User Interface Designer, EnterpriseRx Mail

 

412-472-8902 Tel

[log in to unmask]

-----Original Message-----
From: ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Nick Gassman
Sent: Monday, September 22, 2008 6:03 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Default focus and Enter key functionality in form without
text box

On Thu, 18 Sep 2008 11:11:14 -0700, Cathy wrote:

>I have a search form that starts with a dropdown menu and includes a  
>few other dropdowns and checkboxes, but no text box. I know the rule  
>about putting default focus in a text box, but what about a form with  
>other functionality? Should there be focus on the first dropdown of my

>form by default?

 I wouldn't default the focus to a dropdown. One of the first things
people often do is to scroll the page to see more, and using the mouse
wheel scrolls the entries in the box rather than the page, which
confuses. 

If you want to allow for the use of the tab key, you can default the
focus to a hidden field just prior to the first input box. Then,
there's no confusion with the mouse wheel, but one click of the tab
key will bring the first field into focus.

*    Nick Gassman - Usability and Standards Manager - http://ba.com *

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