[thelist] Accessibility/usability of "Select Option" at top of list

Steven Streight steven.streight at gmail.com
Tue Jan 16 09:47:02 CST 2007

You are correct Stephen Rider, and I wanted to mention this, but you say it
so well. It is very common, in web apps as well as desktop.

On 1/16/07, Stephen Rider <evolt_org at striderweb.com> wrote:
> On Jan 15, 2007, at 11:02 AM, Sarah Adams wrote:
> > after all, you wouldn't pre-fill a text box with "Type Name" would
> > you?
> Actually, this type of thing is frequently useful in non-web
> applications I use.  The most intuitive way to do it (and I've seen
> this in non-web apps -- not sure how you might do it in HTML) is to
> have the words appear in the field in a different color (gray is
> common) and in a way that they don't actually register to the program
> as something typed there, and so they disappear as soon as the cursor
> is in the field.
> I think it's a good way to simplify a crowded form without losing
> useability.  Again, not sure how one might do it properly in a web
> form, but I would be interested to know how.  (I suppose it would
> require some JavaScript.)
> A good example:  In the Safari web browser, the search field in the
> toolbar says "Google" in it.  Tab or click to put the cursor there,
> those words disappear.  Change the search engine, and the name of the
> search engine appears there.  It would be a total waste of screen
> real estate to have the word "Google" or "Search" or whatever outside
> that text field.   (Firefox does this too, but adds a redundant icon
> next to the search field.)
> Steve
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Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate
Web Usability. Blog Revolution. Online Marketing.


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