This article (targeted for search sites) says:
All three sites (google, yahoo and ask) assist the user by placing the cursor within the search box upon page load and allowing the user to press the Enter or Return key to submit the query. In addition, they each reserve a consistent location for the search box, at the top and bottom of the page.
So, can this trick be used on a sites like eBay (they do it), amazon (they don't) or etsy (they don't)?
My reasoning is yes. Because there are 2 kinds of users who come to these eCommerce sites:
- To search: They know what to search and will quickly navigate to the search box. This "feature" will help them.
- To browse: Now, for this user auto focusing on the search box won't be a problem since they came to this site to browser and a common user uses a mouse to navigate a site (is that a safe assumption?). So, it won't matter where the focus of your cursor is.
What do you think?