I'm creating a form Android tablet app that will be used connected to a physical keyboard. The goal is to help users quickly fill out forms while visiting our conference booth. The tablets will be docked and placed on a table so the users will not be holding the tablets. As such, they mimic a laptop setup and I was wondering about best practices for certain interactions as I'm thinking it'd be best to avoid the user having to touch the screen and have them use the keyboard instead:

  • Starting text entry. Is it obvious to the user to start typing if the cursor is in the text field? Should I add an external callout to point to the currently focused text field?
  • Moving between fields with the tab/enter key. Is this obvious or does it need a callout?
  • Submitting the form. Perhaps this is the exception where they touch the screen since there is no mouse. Any other intuitive patterns? Hitting enter at the end of the last line and prompting to submit?

I haven't seen much on this type of interaction where you basically treat a tablet with keyboard as a laptop with no mouse. Hopefully the above 3 items are specific enough but I am interested in best practices in general for this setup.

1 Answer 1


I think that is very easy to fill a form without mouse. Tab key is used frequently to move between fields, and enter is used to submit it.

I'd use a very notorious indicator that helps user to notice that he/she can start typing in the focused text field.

enter image description here

  • That makes sense, thank you for the visual example. I may use green checkmarks on the right when the user tabs to the next field and red "x" if the field does not validate (e.g. empty) and only show the submit button if we're all green.
    – afonseca
    Commented Jan 6, 2014 at 21:26

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