I have a form that a user typically uses tab index to navigate throughout. I've updated most of the forms from standard checkboxes to "switches" with either a yes/no.

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With Material Design I haven't been able to find information on "tabbing" and was wondering:

Should a user be able to tab over the inputs and change their state, or explicitly have to click to change the state?

  • You've stated that the user can navigate through tabbing on your form. Why would the switches be different? Is there a particular context they are being used in that might warrant different behavior than the rest of the form?
    – Tory
    Oct 7 '16 at 13:36

Tab is typically used to move from element to element, not to change the state of the element.

Space is generally used for simple binary state changes of the kind you described.

As an example, assume the user is focused on the first element of a form with a two-state switch as the fourth element defaulted to state 'A', the switch can be switched to state 'B' by hitting Tab Tab Tab Space.

I believe this can be disabled in cases where you might actually want the user to make a 'positive click' rather than casually tabbing through the form.

Most accessibility requirements include the provision of facilities for users who cannot operate a mouse which would normally be covered by the Tab or Space functionality. Turning these off is almost certain to harm your accessibility rating. It's probably not mentioned in Material because it's inclusion is presumed as a standard accessibility facility.

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