Tab sequences

One of the great keyboard “shortcuts” is the Tab key, which on a web page moves you from one action item to another. I say action item because you move to hyperlinks, input boxes, buttons, etc., where you can do something.

Now-a-days, a simple login page for email (see Yahoo! or Gmail) you see hyperlinks for other stuff, which I am okay with. What I am not okay with is what happens when you press the Tab key.

When I use Firefox, in the Yahoo! page, I am taken to the first hyperlink. In Gmail, the same thing happens. Okay, maybe because it’s the first action item. However, is it the most frequently used one?

Most users come to the login page to login and check their email. So, why not set the tab sequences or tab stops to the first text box (user name or login ID), then to the password text box, and then to the Login (or equivalent) button? Then you can have the tabs take you to the hyperlinks (I’m still not sold on that one). Why make it so hard for the user? Gmail has less hyperlinks in keeping with Google’s stark (but functional) interfaces, Yahoo! is much worse.

The funny thing is that when I use Opera the Tab sequence does not include the hyperlinks, so I am directly taken to the user name input box. Are tab sequences browser-based? I don’t know. The thing is that I can’t use Opera for these two sites because Gmail’s full features aren’t supported in Opera and Yahoo does some funny things with Opera. It’s why I use Firefox for these two sites.

Can someone please make my life simple?

PS: I think the mouse is a neat invention but I try to minimise its use. You know, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, tendinitis, etc.


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