We've been having a discussion in the office surrounding a login page we're developing for a new web application. The web application is in intranet-based application, and is mainly used by users who have to use telnet applications as 80% of the daily job.
I created the initial page design in Photoshop, which we discussed and all approved. However, now I've given it over to one of the other developers to start building, he has noticed that there was no login (or other) button on the page - it's simply has two fields; one for username and the other for password. After querying it with me, I stated that it was intentional, as I didn't see the need - most people would just press enter anyway, as that's what they have to do in their telnet application. Then the discussion started...
There were several points made in-so-far as "if there's no button, they won't know what to do" and "they will expect the button and will raise support calls over the page not working". There were even suggestions that the users would just "sit there" not knowing what to do.
Now.. my question is: Do users really need a login button?
I'm genuinely interested to learn what sort of percentage of end-users would be able to cope with a simple login page that required them to press enter after entering their details to continue. It's important to note, there wouldn't be any on-screen prompt to press enter - they would see a tool tip over the password stating what to do, but that's it!
(Exclude mobile users from the fray - simply targeting run-of-the-mill desktops and laptop users :))
An example of the login box: