W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > April to June 2015

Re: Auto-Tabbing - Is this ever allowed?

From: Elizabeth J. Pyatt <ejp10@psu.edu>
Date: Thu, 28 May 2015 15:17:05 -0400
Cc: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>, WAI-IG <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-Id: <C45EDD63-E52B-42A6-A836-9634C8B868B1@psu.edu>
To: Jim Allan <jimallan@tsbvi.edu>
I have to agree with Jim. Even as a sighted “normally abled” user, I find auto tabbing un-useful in a form field. I do use TAB keys to enter form data, and I usually jump ahead a field because I automatically hit the TAB key. I think a lot of people who know how to use the TAB key in a form do so even if they are otherwise capable of using a mouse. It’s much faster to complete a form that way.

Even if I used a mouse to fill out a form, I think I would find making a cursor jump automatically distracting.

Elizabeth

P.S. I do find field activation useful on Google, because entering a search term is so common. However, I this is a special case. The only other case I know of where this is useful is a pure login screen (i.e. no other function and form fields only). I wouldn’t want a cursor to land on a field unless I was familiar with the page and its function.

> On May 28, 2015, at 3:00 PM, Jim Allan <jimallan@tsbvi.edu> wrote:
> 
> Phill, 
> I disagree. 
> auto tabbing in my understanding is having a phone number input with 3 fields. when you type 3 digit in the first field (which is its max size) the focus is automatically moved to the next field. The user did nothing except type 3 digits. 
> I tab through form fields. On a form with autotab, unless I pay close attention, I skip fields because I hit tab to move to the next field. Autotab breaks my behavior model for interacting with forms. 
> 
> Also, If you hit enter in a form, the submit button is generally fired. I have seen a few forms where you must explicitly tab into (focus) a submit button in order to hit enter on it, but those are very few. 
> 
> Jumping to the first field of a form (skipping title, instructions, etc.) when entering a page seems like poor usability for screen reader users and keyboard users. You enter a page, you are immediately placed in a form, when you hit tab you go to the next field. What happened to all the page navigation? What if I went to the page because it has other information other than the form? Then as a user, I must exit the form, reorient myself to the page, and now I can complete my task. That's a hassle. 
> 
> Jim
> 
> On Thu, May 28, 2015 at 12:27 PM, Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com> wrote:
> I would not label this as "auto-tabbing", but simply optimized keyboard navigation.  We all want a better user experience.   
> 
> Example scenario: so placing the input focus in an input field when the page loads is a best practice because all users can simply begin typing and the input filed will receive the keystrokes, no extra tabbing or arrow keys needed, or gestures required = better user experience.  If the a user wants the label to be spoken as well, then that is an AT setting or configuration since WCAG already has the provision for associating the label with the input field.  After the user types the input and then presses enter (or SpaceBar) it would also be a best practice for the web page/app to move the input focus to the next input element in the form.  Note that I do not consider that auto-tabbing since the focus only moves after the user presses enter to complete the input step.   
> 
> What some call auto-scanning, as is typical for AT the allows auto-scanning of on screen keyboards is useful for some, but not all user with disabilities.  So  auto-scanning should be user or AT configurable.  I would rarely (never?) recommend that the web app developer provide the auto-scanning since it could (would?) conflict with the platform or more commonly, the user's AT settings. 
> 
> ____________________________________________
> Regards,
> Phill Jenkins, 
> IBM Accessibility
> 
> 
> 
> From:        Léonie Watson <lwatson@paciellogroup.com> 
> To:        "'Wishnew, Mary '" <mary.wishnew@citi.com>, "'IG - WAI Interest Group List list'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org> 
> Date:        05/28/2015 11:26 AM 
> Subject:        RE: Auto-Tabbing - Is this ever allowed? 
> 
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Wishnew, Mary [mailto:mary.wishnew@citi.com] 
> Sent: 28 May 2015 16:41
> 
> I have worked in the past with a reputable Third Party Accessibility Vendor that has advised auto-tabbing should never be allowed for a form with input fields such as an online application.  The application would have multiple input fields such as First Name, Last Name, Address, phone number, SSN, etc.  I realize that if the user isn't advised the form will auto tab they can end up multiple fields down the form instead of moving to the next field as they don't realize the form has auto-tabbed.  
> 
> <SNIPPED>
> 
> The development team wants to add auto-tabbing back into the application form.  What is the industry best practice?  I would like to get input from those on the list about auto-tabbing. I am receiving significant push back to add this tabbing back into the form and would like to advise accurately.
> 
> Speaking as a screen reader/keyboard user, I strongly dislike having auto-tab functionality imposed on me. It is unexpected, and based on a flawed assumption that it is helpful.
> 
> It's worth noting that it takes me more time and effort to correct mistakes caused by auto-tab, than it does to move focus for myself. 
> 
> Léonie.
> 
> -- 
> Léonie Watson - Senior accessibility engineer
> @LeonieWatson @PacielloGroup PacielloGroup.com
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> Jim Allan, Accessibility Coordinator & Webmaster
> Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
> 1100 W. 45th St., Austin, Texas 78756
> voice 512.206.9315    fax: 512.206.9264  http://www.tsbvi.edu/
> "We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us." McLuhan, 1964

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Elizabeth J. Pyatt, Ph.D.
Instructional Designer
Teaching and Learning with Technology
Penn State University
ejp10@psu.edu, (814) 865-0805 or (814) 865-2030 (Main Office)

210 Rider Building  (formerly Rider II)
227 W. Beaver Avenue
State College, PA   16801-4819
http://www.personal.psu.edu/ejp10/psu
http://tlt.psu.edu
Received on Thursday, 28 May 2015 19:17:33 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Thursday, 25 May 2017 01:54:15 UTC