Re: [Usability] Keyboard navigation- outstanding issues
- From: Christian Rose <menthos menthos com>
- To: Erik Pukinskis <erikthelephant hotmail com>
- Cc: usability gnome org, gnome-accessibility-list gnome org
- Subject: Re: [Usability] Keyboard navigation- outstanding issues
- Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2001 19:49:52 +0200
Erik Pukinskis wrote:
> > 1) Always have Tab insert a tab character, and Ctrl+Tab navigate out.
> > This is the current proposal, but it makes tab key navigation through
> > dialogs rather irritating.
> > 2) Always have Ctrl+Tab insert a tab character, and Tab navigate out.
> > This makes navigation nicer, but breaks our usual meaning of Ctrl+Tab,
> > and makes it non-obvious how to insert a Tab character if you don't
> > the trick.
> So do we make it irritating to navigate out or non-obvious to insert a
> tab character? As irritating as holding down the CTRL button is, it
> doesn't come close to the irritation of not being able to figure out how
> to insert a tab character when you REALLY have to. I think the decision
> to go with (1) is a good one.
I disagree :)
Mostly for the reasons I stated in my previous mail. Text fields that
need Tab as a valid input character are very rare. In those rare cases
where they are needed, we can make Tab insert a Tab (i.e. option 4).
> > 3) Don't allow tab characters to be inserted in single line text
> > as they're rarely needed. (But still need to pick 1 or 2 above for
> > multiline text fields).
> > 4) Allow the programmer to set a flag on the text field that specifies
> > whether it allows the entry of Tab characters or not. If it does, Tab
> > should enter the character, and Ctrl+Tab should navigate out.
> > Otherwise, Tab should navigate, and Ctrl+Tab should do nothing.
> Both of these seem to introduce unnecessary consistency if we pick (1).
> If Tab means tab, we don't need (3), and if we're going to teach people
> that CTRL-Tab means "next widget" then we don't need to make the
> distinction in (4).
Moving forward between controls in a dialog is a very common action if
you navigate with a keyboard. Using multi-key shortcuts is in general
only a last resort if single-key shortcuts are not available, because
they are less convenient (and also harder to use with some
disabilities), and in a lot of cases also harder to remember. That's why
the most common shortcuts are single key ones.
Anyway, my point is that moving forward in a dialog is a very common
action with keyboard navigation, and even in a smaller dialog with only
a few options tabbing through the whole thing can require more than ten
- fifteen keypresses. Requiring the pressing of a two-finger shortcut
ten of fifteen times in a row seems to me like a very annoying task and
a lot worse than just having to use a single key, which even in itself
is a daunting task when having to use repeatedly. And, as I said
previously, the need for Tab as an input character is very rare, so it
seems this whole discussion is focused on the most uncommon case.
> Perhaps to teach people we should pop up an alert that tells users they
> can use CTRL-Tab to navigate when they do Tab-Backspace-Tab or
> Tab-Tab-Tab or something that seems like an attempt to tab out.
If we need to popup alerts telling the user how the keyboard is to be
used, then we are certainly doing something wrong.
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