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Re: set cursor in search box


From: Mallory
Date: Jun 25, 2019 6:01AM


I only allow that kind of autofocus if the page basically does one dedicated thing. A search page where 99% of users want to search, a login page where 99% of users are going to log in, etc.

A page that allows users to do many things and search is just one of them, I don't allow: with speech recognition your commands are now first initially trapped in a dictation-oriented box; with screen magnification I usually have little idea of where I am, how far down the page I am, and now I have to explore backwards/up the page to catch lost content. Using autofocus to help with a Call To Action, I also recommend against.

On a page dedicated to logging in, however, for a service that does not also have forms for creating an account or whatnot, autofocussing can be an accessibility advantage to folks with poor motor control (depending on how they're navigating pages). On a login page with speech recognition, it can be less work for me to log in as I could start out dictating my username/email without needing to set focus on the input first. At a previous job, single-use pages which autofocussed on the first input was appreciated in testing with a head-mouse user who easily tired and tried to avoid unnecessary clicking (though I will not argue clicking an input on a page is unnecessary, but to her in this testing context it was).

Ideally it's a page that's very clear to you and most others whether it's really a one-use page, and ideally you can user-test this on people with various disabilities and methods of interaction. If you find it gets in the way of some folks then it's a good sign to reconsider autofocus there.


On Tue, Jun 25, 2019, at 10:18 AM, Kirsty.Baker wrote:
> Hello
> If on loading a page with a search box you were to automatically set the cursor within the search box, would this have a negative impact on accessibility? One argument could be that this is helpful to users especially if the main purpose of the site is as a search tool. But on the other side it could be that this is not what users would be expecting, and it could possibly have a negative impact on keyboard only users and screen reader users? I'd be interested to hear views on this.
> Many thanks
> Kirsty Baker