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I've just seen a question here about auto submitting form on a webpage (Should Forms Auto Submit (Auto Advance) When Questions Are Correctly Filled In?). Most people answered 'no', because the person might want to correct the data before sending it. But in my case it's slightly different, because it's log-in form. For now it works like this: user inputs some data to login or password field -> when the user clicks anywhere outside the form or presses 'enter'/'return' or 'tab' then an AJAX request is send to the server where the data is checked. Notice, that it doesn't affect user experience as the page doesn't refresh when the server checks for data. But my question is - should I:

  • leave it as it is

  • make it send a request every time user changes anything (so that they wouldn't have to click anywhere after completing the form, but there would be no way to notify them that the login/password is wrong, because it would apply after every character they type in)

  • change it to a regular form with submit button

P.S. Notice that now it makes a 'check' only if both of the forms aren't empty, so you can type password first and then login or anything like this.

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"when the user clicks anywhere outside the form" sounds like a huge red flag. –  jgthms Feb 23 at 14:41
    
What do you mean? Sorry, but I don't understand. It's actually when the form gets de-focused. –  Fiodor Feb 23 at 14:41
    
How does the user login actually if there's no button? –  jgthms Feb 23 at 14:42
    
Like I said: when he finishes entering the data and 'de-focuses' the form (clicks outside, prsees 'enter', etc.) it asks the server if the data is correct and if it is, he gets logged in automatically. –  Fiodor Feb 23 at 14:44
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Like I said: using the de-focus as a submit button is a huge red flag. It's not the expected behavior at all. –  jgthms Feb 23 at 14:57

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

People are used to initiate actions when they want or feel ready. Having the action initiated by the form may feel strange since the process is going to be quite fast to react, and the user may feel a lack of control or decision.

On the other hand, the fact that the site logs in as soon as you write the information, may feel as an advantage since that's exactly what you want to do as user, and there is no much more hat you can do to interact with a login form, so there is no reason to wait.

Other aspect to consider, is what happen if you write the credentials wrong. The good thing here, is that lots of sites have already automatic systems that check for the user/password, so many people may be used to that already and won't feel anything bad if they make a mistake, it would just feel like in one of those other sites when you write your user name or password wrong. Also, you may have already a system for that and the validation occurs on each field.

The main problem, is due to the fact that there is no element that allows the user to activate the process, so one may feel like the page didn't load, or that an image is missing and an active area should be there, so the user is going to move the mouse around trying to get the pointer to change to a hand indicating that there is a button to press. That situation may even prevent the user from being aware that he is already inside the system until the interface changes, and at that moment, that will be a surprise.

Conclusion from what I have said. The lack of button itself is going to create doubts and insecurity, may be even distracting the user from realizing that he is already in. The action on itself, may feel very handy and useful. Combining both, your proposal, feels good for users that are aware of the novelty of the system, but feels bad for new users.

If you choose the "modern" option, remove the click, since that would be even more unnatural and may not even happen.

But since it seems to be an interesting option, I'd recommend doing some tests with actual users. And report your findings. This may help a lot of people.

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Thank you very much :). I found it really helpful. So I think I will add some interactive validation instead of the button. There is no problem with actually telling people how it works, as the webpage is meant to be only for a few users (for my mother's company). Once again - thanks a lot. –  Fiodor Feb 23 at 15:15
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@Fiodor: please remind me not to create an account at that/your site unless the interactive validation on each fields does not mean you are gonna give away whether a user name is valid. Any authentication should only every accept or reject the combination of user name and password. If validation on each field means you would a passerby that "this user name is not known" then this is giving away information that att/hackers find very useful. –  Marjan Venema Feb 23 at 17:33
    
I'd also add that security wise, this would make it easier to try a large number of passwords as the system expects it. –  user2313067 Feb 25 at 15:24

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