[thelist] how to disable the return key in web forms?

Jeff Howden jeff at jeffhowden.com
Thu Oct 30 13:32:33 CST 2003


> From: John Dobson
> Following some usability testing of our web based
> request form we noticed that some users try to use the
> return/enter key to move on to the next field.
> Unfortunately this action causes the first page of the
> form to be submitted with the resulting error message
> saying that certain required fields are not filled in.

did you also assess the number of people that used the enter key for the
intended behavior on purpose?  no?  then maye more studying is in order.

also, does the error page include the same form they were trying to fill out
along with appropriate error messages and the filled-in fields prefilled
with the data they entered?  if not, why not?  if so, then why the concern
about the enter key?  surely disabling it will only cause frustration for
other users.

> Does anyone know how to change the behaviour of the
> return/enter key depending on where abouts in the form
> the focus is?

can't be done for 100% of your users.

> Do people think javascript would sort this out?

only partially.

i'd suggest leaving it alone.


Jeff Howden - Web Application Specialist
Résumé - http://jeffhowden.com/about/resume/
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