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Re: Dynamic Dropdown Form Fields
From: David Ashleydale
Date: Apr 27, 2012 9:58PM
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Birkir, I had suggested a solution like that -- putting a button after the
dropdown -- but there are actually a few of these questions at the
beginning of the form. The design team felt that it would be too cumbersome
to make users select then click a button 3 times in a row -- select, click,
select, click, select, click. And for keyboard users it would be: tab,
arrows, tab, enter (times 3).
And, Elle, that's kind of along the lines of what I was thinking. I'm
wondering if there's a way to get the browser to realize that there's a new
element in the tab order right after the Tab key is clicked. Like, maybe we
could force it to pause for 50 microseconds or something. :)
On Friday, April 27, 2012, Birkir R. Gunnarsson wrote:
> If you don't mind Elle, please share your solution with the rest of the
> What about placing a button after the first dropdown link saying
> (confirm selection). Once user clicks on it it will first populat the
> next field, then move user focus to it (may be a bit clumsy, but it
> could get the job done I suppose)?
> On 4/28/12, Elle < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
> > David:
> > I know exactly what you're describing, and your guess as to why it's
> > skipping the second (dynamically populated) dropdown is a topic we've
> > working through as well. The choreographed dance of dynamic changes and
> > focus path, that's some crunchy stuff! We're in the wireframe stages
> > now for a similar progressive disclosure scenario in a form.
> > The trick is to get it to occur in sequence, not simultaneously, and to
> > ensure that there's a focus destination as a fallback (perhaps read-only
> > instead of disabled) for the default state of the dynamic dropdown menu.
> > can't remember what steps that we decided on, but I'll ask and send our
> > solution your way in case it helps.
> > Cheers,
> > Elle
> > On Fri, Apr 27, 2012 at 7:42 PM, David Ashleydale
> > < <EMAIL REMOVED> >wrote:
> >> I don't have an example to show right now, but I'll try to describe the
> >> situation that I would like thoughts on.
> >> Imagine an online form where the first question is a dropdown (select).
> >> The
> >> second question is also a dropdown, but when the page first loads, it is
> >> disabled. This is because the options in it are determined dynamically
> >> based on which selection you make in the first dropdown. We tried to set
> >> it
> >> up so that after a user makes a selection in the first dropdown, then
> >> they
> >> hit the Tab key, the second dropdown would become enabled and populated
> >> with the correct options, and the user would be taken there.
> >> However, the way it ended up working was that when a keyboard-only user
> >> hits Tab after using the up and down arrows to make a selection in the
> >> first dropdown, they skip over the second question and are taken to the
> >> next "tabbable" object further down the page; even though the second
> >> dropdown becomes enabled when the user hits Tab (onblur).
> >> I believe this is because at the time the user hits the Tab key, the
> >> second
> >> dropdown is still disabled. It's kind of a simultaneous issue -- two
> >> things
> >> are trying to happen at the same time: the browser wants to take the
> >> formerly disabled dropdown. It seems like the browser has already
> >> out where it wants to take the user before they've even hit the Tab key,
> >> so
> >> it doesn't care that we changed the next thing in its path from disabled
> >> to
> >> enabled.
> >> Hopefully I described the situation sufficiently. Otherwise, I may try
> >> mock something up to show you. But my questions is: what is the best way
> >> to
> >> do this in a keyboard accessible way?
> >> Desired functionality: Form with a dropdown that dynamically enables and
> >> adds options to the next dropdown.
> >> Problem: Hitting the Tab key always jumps over the next disabled
> >> dropdown,
> >> even though hitting the Tab key enables it.
> >> Thanks!
> >> David Ashleydale
> >> > >> > >> > >>
> > --
> > If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the people to gather wood,
> > divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the
> > and endless sea.
> > - Antoine De Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
> > > > > > > >
> > > Address