Exclude checkboxes from keyboard access
edited September 28, 2020 in Suggest an Idea
James Cobban said: The records search user interface includes a checkbox after many text input fields to specify whether the search is to be precise or loose. Placing these checkboxes immediately after the text input field clarifies their purpose but creates extra effort and unnecessary errors when entering a search by demanding that the user press the tab key TWICE after each input field. Most users are unaware of the method for altering the state of a checkbox which has the focus and if they are not paying attention will type an entire field value into the checkbox, where it is ignored. In almost every case a user is going to perform an initial loose search and only start selecting other search options, including clicking on these checkboxes, if the results are too broad. Since the checkboxes are more intuitively set using the mouse, or on a mobile device a touch, there is no need for them to also be accessible to the keyboard. Therefore all of these checkboxes should specify the attribute tabindex="-1" so the browser will skip them when the user hits a tab key.
Juli said: Supremely Awful Idea.
People who regularly use a mouse or pointer in conjunction with the keyboard will just click in the next field to fill it in. The use of the tab key will only ever occur to people who need to or prefer to stick with keyboard only, and they absolutely need to be able to access the checkboxes with said tab key; otherwise, the interface will be completely broken for them.
Typing an entire search field into a checkbox will only happen once per keyboard-only person, maybe twice if the person doesn't use FS much.0
David Newton said: Not only supremely awful, but supremely illegal as well. Doing so would violate the ADA and open Familysearch up to prosecution under that legislation.
If a user is not paying attention when using the search then that's their fault and they should not be mollycoddled because of it.0
James Cobban said: The "awful" comments are unprofessional and ignorant since you did not address my issues with the feature, you just insulted me! I would request that you both apologize for your rude behavior on this forum. The only valid comment is the need to conform to ADA. Ancestry avoids the problem by placing the two checkboxes after both the given and surname fields. The only real disadvantage I can see to that form of input is that it takes up more screen space.
I am just sick and tired of wasting time. I am a touch typist so I am not looking at EITHER the keyboard OR the display while I am entering data. I am looking at the original source document. This is aggravated because Ancestry works one way and FamilySearch works a different way. It is faster to hit tab twice than take my hands off the keyboard to grab the mouse and then move my hands back to the keyboard. But why should I be forced to hit tab twice by FamilySearch when I am not forced to do that by Ancestry? Furthermore that can result in my hands not finding the "home" row, particularly since computer keyboards lack a feature of traditional typewriter keyboards which had deeper depressions on the F and J keys so touch typists could find the home position without looking at the keyboard.
Trivia question: What is the longest word in the English language that can be typed using only the keys on the top row? The answer is TYPEWRITER.0
Tom Huber said: James, you really need to rethink what you are requesting.
It appears that the first thing you want to do is to save tabbing twice with the “exact” option.
How do you think that those of us using a computer system, who want an exact option, would feel if you removed the option?0
Juli said: James, I'm truly sorry if you see personal insult in my post, but you have only yourself to blame. (There's a Hungarian proverb: "if it's not your shirt, don't put it on". It's kind of the inverse of "if the shoe/hat fits, wear it.")
As a touch typist, you of all people should know that no matter what your reasoning, excluding checkboxes (ANY checkboxes, anywhere) from tab input is a Supremely Awful Idea.
(My computer keyboards have always had "blips" on the F and J. The fact that I wear them off is a different question entirely, but superglue works for "replenishment".)0
Juli said: It sounds like what you *really* actually want is for Ancestry and FamilySearch to be arranged exactly the same way, so that you can "seamlessly" transfer your habits from one site to the other. That's highly unlikely to happen, as the sites belong to unrelated organizations.
Tabbing twice is really not hard. Your finger is already on the key, after all. (If I need to microwave something for a minute and a half, I often use 88 seconds. That way, I only need to find one spot on the dratted smooth surface.)0
FamilySearch Moderator said: Please review your posts above.
There is an expectation that you as a contributor are here to help and build this community. We welcome Ideas, whether good, bad, or other to be shared here. "awful" is not appropriate in a response, nor helpful. Please limit your response to what is good, or not as good, or questions to help make an idea better.0
David Newton said: Here we go again. Interference in the community and censorship for no proper reason.
"Please limit your response to what is good, or not as good, or questions to help make an idea better."
Your response is not good. Your response is not helpful. Your response is not a question to help make an idea better. Your response is helping to destroy this community.
Please review your interference in this community. It's not welcome and it is not building this community.
Oh and yes this is on topic. You made it on topic.0
Tom Huber said: By the way, I use my computer and its keyboard and want to be able to check the exact box after entering the information without having to use my mouse.
It is really a matter of user preference. While your idea has merit, FamilySearch is moving to the latest technology with the site. As such the old -1 may or may not apply.0
Juli said: I stand by my wording. It is an awful idea. I detailed the reasons for this assessment above. Limiting responses to "good, better, best" is another supremely awful idea. What is this, 1984?0
Adrian Bruce said: Sorry - the idea was described as "awful", not the original poster. If we had described the poster as "awful" or insulted him, then that would indeed be against the spirit of the community. But we didn't. We separated the idea from the poster. If ideas cannot be graded, what is the point in submitting them for consideration by the community?0
Don M Thomas said: Good comments above Juli and Adrian.0
Don M Thomas said: James Cobban, don't take things so personal on this community forum for ideas. I have had some ideas that others have thought were down right awful, but I took no offense. Some will like your idea, and some will not like your idea, but that does not reflect on you personally.
Please take no offense, and continue to submit you view points and ideas to this community forum for ideas.0
James Cobban said: I would like to suggest an alternative solution to my concern. The issue is that as a touch typist I am looking at a source document as I type, not the FamilySearch input form and because I use a lot of different sites, not just FamilySearch, I end up wasting time typing keystrokes which are ignored because the focus is on a checkbox, not an input field.
The only useful keystroke while the focus is on a checkbox is space, which causes the checkbox to be selected. All other keystrokes are ignored. A technological solution to the issue of typing into the checkbox is to intercept the keystroke and if it is not a space change to focus to the next input field and insert the keystroke there.0
Jeff Wiseman said: James,
What you are now suggesting is to create an inconsistency with the way forms work pretty well EVERYWHERE, and give it an odd behavior to now support a hidden "feature" on some fields that most people will not be able to decode.
The universal behavior on all text entry, regardless of where it is, is typically:
1) Select the item where you want to put your entry (either by tab or cursor)
2) Type in your entry. Anything inappropriate for that field or functions is simply thrown away.
You are now saying is that you want to select a place to put your entry in, and then totally dependent on hidden code, entering text only in certain places can result in the selected field being automatically changed outside of the person's control and the entered text going into a DIFFERENT field instead of the one that the person originally selected.
That would be a very unintuitive behavior to most of the folks on the FS FamilyTree IMHO.0
Adrian Bruce said: I'm sorry James but I really don't understand the scenario that you're dealing with in the first place. You say that you are a touch typist, looking at a source document, not a Family Search screen. But to me, source documents have many, many different formats while FS - like any system - will normally only have one input screen per function. Normally. So I'm afraid I don't see how you can possibly *not* look at the FS input screen. Even when you're working on a very specific item such as a name, some sources have the family name first, some the given names first. So again, you need to have checked the computer screen first.
It really is important to understand your actual needs - and I don't.0
James Cobban said: I do NOT look at the input form while typing. That is the definition of touch typing.
A touch typist looks ONLY at the source document: not at the keyboard and not at the input screen. This has always been true. Even when touch typists were using typewriters they did NOT look at the piece of paper on the roller until they were finished with the entire page. A touch typist knows that what they have typed is correct without looking at it just as when someone is speaking they know that they have spoken the correct words without having to listen to them. Like most touch typists I can actually type faster than I can speak. In my case I have two displays on my computer so I would have to actually turn my head to switch from the screen displaying the source document to the screen displaying the entry form, not just my eyes. The current behavior of FS wastes my time, and that of any touch typist, by throwing away my input because it is not intuitive behavior to be forced to tab twice to get from one text input field to the next, and FS is the only web site I use which does force the user to tab twice. I am not just talking about Ancestry as an alternative. I defy you to give me an example of any other web form, your Bank, any online merchant, any government form, ANY web application which demands that the user tab twice to get from the given name field to the surname field. It is FS which is out of line with every other application on the Web by demanding that users tab TWICE to get from one data input field to another input data field. This is because only FS places check-boxes in the middle of a string of text input fields.
Since FS, and you who insist that the current user interface is perfect and cannot be improved, refuse to rearrange the fields so that the check-boxes do not interrupt the normal flow of text input boxes I am merely suggesting an alternative which will programmatically redirect POINTLESS text input to the next available text input field. This will NOT change how the form responds to VALID input. If a user wishes to manipulate the checkbox by the mouse, that still works. If a user, perhaps because of a disability or because they are a touch typist and wish to leave the fingers in position over the keyboard, prefers to do everything through the keyboard that also will behave IN EXACTLY THE SAME WAY for valid input, since the only meaningful keyboard inputs are:
tab tab to NOT select the checkbox,
tab space tab to select the checkbox.0
gasmodels said: I understand what a touch typist wants to do but it amazes me that you know exactly what each block in the form is asking for without looking at the form. Touch typist usually are typing a document or something where they are not required to look at the item being produced. They are usually just making a copy of something or converting a handwritten document to a typed document. However, when entering information into a form such as the search criteria there are numerous ways the information may need to be input and it will not necessarily match the input data you are using to enter. Therefore most of us are required to look at the form so that we are not entering the spouse name in the father box of the mother given name in the country block. I really do not see the advantage since all forms are not standard and have the same layout for
Juli said: James, you have it wrong: touch typing only means not looking at the _keyboard_. You do need to keep an eye on both input and output. This is especially true when filling out a form of any sort, rather than writing continuous text. Trust me, no secretary typing on a form ever did it blind.0
The "default" behavior of the checkbox is to ignore all keystrokes except space and tab. That does not mean it is also the "universal" behavior.
By the way I am also on the mailing list for the W3C HTML standards committee so I review all discussions of the behavior of HTML.0
James Cobban said: Who is the touch typist here? I have been touch typing for 60 years! I repeat that I am NOT looking at the input form as I enter the data. I am constantly doing data entry on dozens of different applications on multiple platforms and I do not look at the form while entering any of them except for briefly when I switch applications. The problem is that this ONE input form on ONE platform is deviant from all of the other data entry applications that I work with in that it sticks these checkboxes in BETWEEN the text input fields, rather than clustering them in a separate portion of the form as all other applications do. I feel that this is a weak design that pointlessly wastes my time. That this is it an avoidable problem is demonstrated by the fact that it does not happen on any other form, in particular it does not happen on the corresponding form on Ancestry, Therefore the decision to stick these checkboxes between the text input fields is not necessary either for the convenience of other users or for compliance with ADA. It is an arbitrary decision. I am genuinely upset by the total lack of consideration for my feelings which the architects of this form and all of you have displayed for my genuine feelings of being disrepected. You may not understand, that is not the point. I have a right to feel that I am being treated in an unfair manner and you do not have the right to question my feelings!
In particular Juli, you have been rude and disrespectful in this discussion and I request that FamilySearch censure your participation. Your participation has been emotionally distressing to me. You have repeatedly failed to contribute any positive suggestions of how this issue can be resolved, referring to my concerns as "awful". If there is some way that you can be personally barred from participation in this forum I would request that it be taken.0
Jeff Wiseman said: Obviously it could be set up in the HTML to do what you suggest. I also certainly agree that the positions of those boxes might be better served if they were in a different position. But my main concern personally is for consistency of operation (i.e., the "look and feel") of the interface across the product, and the significant lack of easily visible documentation of the systems behavior. Consistency adds simplicity.
With a very large percentage of the people that the first presidency wants using this site not being of a computer savvy and touch typing skill set, simplicity for the masses probably overrides the need for speed of a select few.
I probably touch type at probably an 80% level (i.e., I cheat a lot by looking at my keyboard) and I have found that positioning of checkboxes never really affects me, mainly because the order of fields on the entry forms almost NEVER match the order of the input date fields that I'm copying it from.0
Juli said: Okay, restating: James, I believe you are mistaken about the definition of touch typing. (Does that help? I cannot imagine *what* in my posts could possibly be construed as rude and disrespectful, unless you consider any statement of opinion contrary to your own to be rude.)
I touch type in two languages, by the way.
If you really *are* a touch typist, then you, of all people, should have realized that your idea of breaking an electronic form's keyboard access to the checkboxes was, um, ill-advised. Your later suggestion of rearranging the fields such that the boxes do not interrupt your thought process may have some merit, but it should perhaps go in a new suggestion to be properly noticed and considered.0
Robert Wren said: Relax, everyone.
Interestingly, except those last two words, my comments disappeared. It must mean something:
FamilySearch Moderator said: Thanks for the comments as there are some good perspectives here. But we want to be inviting and still be able to respect each other's posts. We are going to snooze this thread for a bit.0