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I am implementing a new design for a simple search component. This form contains only one free form input.

In the provided design document there is no submit button since it is assumed that the user will click the submit/search button that appears on their native keyboard in order to submit the form.

Can we rely on that a user always has this button available?

  • For which device is it? – Alvaro Nov 16 '16 at 16:56
  • Generally phones with Android and iOS – Frinsh Nov 16 '16 at 16:57
  • So is the question: "Does every device have some sort of default submit button?" And is this a web app, a mobile app, or both? (Please edit your question to clarify.) – Tim Grant Nov 16 '16 at 16:59
  • It is a mobile "only" website. And yes, I guess that's the question. Thought the tags would be enough to clarify :) – Frinsh Nov 16 '16 at 17:01
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I would say no. I can think of at least two reasons:

Touch devices keyboards can be hidden easily. Imagine the user hides his keyboard after completing the form, how will he know that the submit button he needs is the "enter" keyboard button?

To me it is also frustrating when this action is associated to the "enter" button. In some apps while I'm typing and I want the content to be in a new line I tap this button, which results in the form being sent. The action of submitting belongs to the Site UI, and needs to be separated from the one of entering content which belongs to the keyboard. And so I don't expect this button to have the submit action (even if I had the keyboard opened).

Edit:

I just checked that Stack Exchange app uses this functionality, but I still think I would not remove a submit UI button (although you use the keyboard one). My second point has more to do with textareas than with one line inputs, though.

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    When I fill in a form with my iPhone I always have a "next"(like a tab function) instead of a "send"(submit function) button on my keyboard, but when I get to the last input the "next" changes to a "send"(submit). I don't know if this happens on Android and/or desktop, I've only noticed on my phone. – UzendayoNE Nov 17 '16 at 2:42
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    Three more reasons: you can't account for all (or even, given international use all major) mobile keyboards, and it's not like there's a standard. What about people using a tablet/phone with a hardware keyboard? Do you use <enter>==submit?. Accessibility is best served by keeping the interface explicit. – Chris H Nov 17 '16 at 13:21

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