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On iOS when you type a string of characters and the spell correction shows up, you need to actively cancel the suggestion if you don't want it.

The same goes for a searching on Google and Yahoo which informs user that they are showing results for X with the option to search for the possibly misspelled phrase.

On Bing, things are a little different. They say including results for X with the option to search only for the possibly misspelled phrase.

But on all of these four examples, the user has to opt-out to search for the typed string of characters. Is it fair to say that this behavior has become a convention, and as such should be used implementing such a functionality?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Personally, I think the convention is positive. It enables users to correct their mistakes easily, but I agree it can be a hassle when you typed the string correctly and you have to opt out because the search engine or OS thinks you made a mistake. I don't know in what way it already happens, but I think in these cases the search engine or OS should react 'intelligently'. When the 'incorrect' string is entered a X number of times, the string should be regarded as 'correct', still forcing the users to opt out the first X number of times, but enhancing user experience.

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It's a widespread convention, and based on the assumption that the use lost likely mistyped the word, and want it corrected.

If you make the option opt-in, this use case becomes much more complex for the user, as they have to notice the option (however you present it), and explicitly select it.

In the case of search engines, if the user notices the unwanted correction (pretty likely, as the search results won't match what they wanted), opt-out is easy and straightforward.

In the case of iOS and MS Office spelling correction, opt-out is only available shortly after the correction. This is sometimes a problem for fast typists. When they notice the opt-out notification, they sometimes can't stop their typing fast enough to opt out.

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