How Much Of A Problem Are Touch Screen Keyboards for The Forms on Your Website?
When we design sites these days, it is absolutely vital to consider that many of the people who ultimately look at them or try and interact with them will be doing so from a touch screen device. This is one of the most fundamental, ‘101’ type principles of modern web design.
Now, while touch screen devices are great in many ways as they allow users to navigate around your site, zoom in, and interact with page elements in a far more intuitive way than with a mouse, because they are literally able to touch the thing they want to do, they do provide some problems when it comes to entering data.
If your website has any kind of form on it, whether it is just a form for submitting comments or something more important to your business like a form where a client enters their address for delivery of a product, the issues surrounding typing on a mobile device with a touch screen keyboard can become issues that affect you and your site.
What Sort Of Problems Can Touch Screen Keyboards Cause?
Some people become very adept at typing on a touch screen keyboard and are able to do so quickly, but others find it a bit frustrating and tend to avoid saying more than they have to when they are using their phone or tablet. This can mean that people who would normally like to leave a comment on your blog post or other content may not. Of course, you will never really know that this has happened and there aren’t really any ways around it, but what you can do is give other, one touch ways people can leave feedback, for example a Facebook style ‘Like’ or up and down votes.
A more serious problem is the high risk of people writing something incorrectly. Typos are easy to make when you are dealing with a tiny touch screen keyboard on a mobile phone, and of course, we have all been the victim of the odd autocorrect or predictive text ‘fail’. Users who are in a hurry don’t often notice that they have made a typo or had their phone’s software correct their word to something completely different until after they have sent or submitted something, so you can’t assume this is a problem your users will fix for you.
What Can You Do As A Designer or UI Developer?
Typos and other incorrect text can be annoying when they come out in a comment you have posted, so always let the person who has submitted something edit or delete it if they want to (if this is possible on the platform you are using). Users appreciate the fact that if they accidentally post something that makes them look like they can’t spell or is just plain baffling, it isn’t there for the rest of time with their screen name attached.
Another thing you really need to do is add plenty of validation to any forms where people need to enter accurate information like their address. You should always present back what they have submitted and get them to read it and confirm it is correct.