I'm trying to resolve a discussion with a colleague and gain some insight into a common practice for search refinement behavior.
I've read Best Practices for Designing Faceted Search Filters and seen some discussions that touch upon the subject, but I've yet to encounter anything regarding what I conceive to be a misuse of form elements.
Granted, when offering multiple selection choices in a standard form, one would use checkboxes. I also understand how checkboxes found their way into result refinement menus; after all, when offering a parallel selection you should make it apparent that multiple selections are available.
Here's where I need some help:
Correct me if I'm wrong on this– I believe that when using form elements, which happens, well, in a
<form>, you must provide a submit button (W3C reference). That being the case, how come an exception is made by numerous websites in the instance of refining results using parallel selection? I'm talking specifically about auto-refreshing results when a refinement checkbox is checked buy the user.
Is this not a case of inherently misusing form elements? I mean, if a form requires a submit button and since checkboxes are not intended to initiate a form submission, how come many sites override the default behavior as such? It seems to be more ideal to eliminate the checkboxes for parallel selection.