WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

RE: defining focus


From: Derek Featherstone
Date: Mar 12, 2003 2:54PM

Dave wrote:
> Are there any particular issues with setting focus onto a
> form field with Javascript? It feels like an undesiable
> practice to me just by its very nature, but I'd like to hear
> your thoughts as well. If you know of any documentation
> explaing either pro on con, that'd be a great help as well.

I've actually come to expect 95% of sites not to set focus on the relevant
form fields when the page loads.

I am speaking as a "power user" who rarely removes my hands from the
keyboard to use the mouse. I generally expect that when a page loads, I can
hit tab once and I'm in my browser's address bar. Hit it twice and I'm in my
Google search bar that allows me to search the entire web, or within the
site. I would expect that users of assistive technology would be similar
power users with their web clients and "tools" as well.

Taking into account audience and whether or not they are likely to be power
users is something to be considered carefully -- on a recent app, we know
the type of user that is using the functionality, so we included it in that
specific administration section of the site. On many other places on the
site, we have not defined the focus onload.

Heh. That was a really long way of saying "it depends". ;)

Best regards,
Derek Featherstone <EMAIL REMOVED>
Further Ahead Inc.
phone: 613.599.9784;
toll-free: 1.866.932.4878 (North America)
Web Development: http://www.furtherahead.com
Training and Learning: http://www.completelearning.com

To subscribe, unsubscribe, or view list archives,
visit http://www.webaim.org/discussion/