I am developing an user management console interface, actually completed developing where in admin can add user, search user, filter user etc. currently it is not completely keyboard navigable.

So I am thinking of making it completely keyboard navigable, I mean adding keyboard shortcuts for literally every operation that is supported in that console.

My question is will it take the interface to the next level?, like say UX will be ultra awesome? or will it be an over kill?.

  • 1
    This is a web application? If so, (custom) keyboard shortcuts for every action are not needed for it to be fully navigable with a keyboard. – steveax Jan 1 '17 at 3:11

This is something some user research would be useful for, to tell you how your target audience uses keyboard shortcuts, how often, and in which instances. Your target users might be using the keyboard whenever possible -- heck, there are people that use a terminal for most internet browsing -- or they could be tablet users who don't care about keyboard shortcuts.

My hypothesis is that, if people will use your software relatively often, you might find that a portion of your audience will use keyboard shortcuts for frequently used functions, but won't bother with shortcuts for lesser-used functions.

It will also depend on your interface. For example, Sketch's interface encourages using keyboard shortcuts because it makes them simple and discoverable and makes it hard to use a mouse (inserting a rectangle takes several clicks, but just one key press). Gmail's interface hides keyboard shortcuts away, thereby encouraging mouse use. Whether you want to encourage people to learn and use keyboard shortcuts depends on the nature of your app (how often will people be using it? how often with a keyboard vs. using touch?).


You'll be up against the same problem people had when everything was text mode: the keyboard doesn't provide any tipoffs. If your customer can't remember how to do something, they've to go look it up in documentation because the keyboard only shows them its keycaps, and the amount of information a keycap offers is Not Much.

So if you have a simple u/i, one that can be easily learned, then yes, it will make it quite awesome and wonderful for people who'd rather not shift back and from from one implement to another.

If you're providing 2 modes of control as it sounds as though you are, then at the worst people will find the keyboard mode too hard (the way I find the Unix vi and emacs editors too hard for what I want from a text editor (I use geany under FreeBSD)) and they'll use the mixed mode.

So if you think you can do it, go for it! But as you do it, get some of your prospective users to give you advice and feedback while there's still time to make changes.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.