Focus out?

Subject: Focus out?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 28 Jun 2002 11:37:43 -0400


Fiona Hurley reports: <<I have a form with a button that is disabled until
the user enters details into one of the fields. However, the button isn't
enabled when they are typing, but only when they enter text and then "focus
out" of the field. They can take the focus of the field by either clicking
elsewhere on the form, pressing the return key, or tabbing to another field.
This is the sentence: "The Update button is not enabled when you type into
the field, it is only enabled when you focus out of the field.">>

"Focus out" doesn't sound right to me either because it relates to the
application's viewpoint (the focus of the input devices), not the user's
viewpoint. The solution is to refocus <g> the wording on the user's
experience: "The Update button is disabled while you type in this field, and
is enabled again when you click elsewhere in the form, press the return key,
or use the Tab key to move to another field." That's obviously slightly
wordier, but it's also much clearer, and sometimes trying too hard to be
concise is a false economy.

--Geoff Hart, geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada
580 boul. St-Jean
Pointe-Claire, Que., H9R 3J9 Canada
"User's advocate" online monthly at
www.raycomm.com/techwhirl/usersadvocate.html
"When ideas fail, words come in very handy."--Goethe

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