UX 101: hit Enter to submit

Usability testing is something I do a lot. Whether I’m testing what my technical team has built, or I’m using a website or app for the first time, I have some expectations when it comes to how the application behaves.

I’ve found there can be quite big differences between how the front-end of a site works, and how the admin screens work. The front-end is more important if you have a large userbase, but staff shouldn’t be ignored when it comes to UX.

One of the main things is being able to hit Enter to submit. This goes for simple search forms with a text field and a Submit button, or longer forms that are used for things like registration.

Hitting Enter is important particularly on long forms, as if you type a lot of information it’s possible to fill it in completely using the keyboard. Hitting Enter in the last field will submit the form.

It’s also handy if you can type into a search box and hit Enter to submit. This doesn’t always work however, as search forms are sometimes custom coded and the Enter key can end up doing nothing at all.

Allowing users to hit the Enter key to submit a form is a small but important benefit for making your forms user-friendly.

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