I notice that a lot of modern UI components, specifically chip input fields allow a user to hit enter which adds a new chip. Google’s material framework also has an enter event for adding new chips. https://material.angular.io/components/chips/overview

The question is, is this bad UX? Typically the enter button is used to submit a form, provided the other fields are filled in that is. If this is an exception to the rule, what rules does it raise an exception to?

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    Related: Submit form on enter without focus (ux.stackexchange.com/questions/98690/…), Behavior of the Enter button in a form (ux.stackexchange.com/questions/36713/…), Hitting enter to submit a form (ux.stackexchange.com/questions/90645/…) and What should ENTER do? (ux.stackexchange.com/questions/864/what-should-enter-do) Commented Jul 13, 2020 at 6:46
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    Although it is historically common for enter to submit a form, I personally would avoid that unless I had a specific reason to do so (i.e. the users asked for it). I think these days it's far too common for people to hit the enter button after they have finished typing something, especially considering how much we use chat applications these days. I would worry that too many users would accidentally submit forms they haven't finished filling in yet. If my form had a single field, I might consider allowing enter to submit the form. I guess really it largely depends on the form.
    – musefan
    Commented Jul 14, 2020 at 9:40

2 Answers 2


Here as you asked about the chip component, using the enter key to add chip, the action would be right UX behavior or no.

I would say if you do not set the primary action in place for activities can result in bad UX for the user.

You can solve this problem stepwise.

Step1: Define Actions: for Component and its combination to another component.

In the chip component, you have multiple actions.

  • Adding new chip
  • Deleting added chip
  • submitting a form if you're using the chip component in the form template.

Step2: Set Emphasis of action: I believe the emphasis of work needs to be set for each action.

  1. Primary Action
  2. Secondary Action

Step3: Define User Behaviour: For Each action, you need to define the user's behavior for defined actions based on their emphasis, which should match with the user's mental model.

Eg; The user's Mental Model for submission is, to press enter key.

Eg; if the chip component is not combined with form, its better utilizes the enter key behavioral to assign to defined action based on the emphasis we set.

Tip: And behavior: to press enter key would be a good user behavior for primary action: add selected/typed token or chip.


This is a very thoughtful question.

Most designers are not aware of implicit submission (using the Enter key).

I would try to avoid using chips but that is beside the point.

Some native form controls will not submit the form when pressing Enter like a textarea so I think it’s okay to have a specific control that uses it.

That said, I would always try to make custom controls out of native controls.

You can see my autocomplete control as an example:


So in the case of a chip UI thinger, I would have a list of checkboxes filterable by a search box (text input).

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