Sunday, April 24, 2005

Getting Rid of the Submit Button

The new Spotlight search in Mac OS X Tiger shows what a search engine should not have: a submit button. Why do applications force us to click on a button, instead of showing us what we are looking for as we type?

The widespread deployment of browsers supporting the XMLHttpRequest object coupled with an increase in processing power on the server side enable us to create web applications that feel more like Spotlight. It is in fact my belief that there will be a move towards this type of interaction in the coming years, starting with getting rid the submit button.

Give a try to Translate This, a new addition to the PresentationServer examples. It provides an alternative interface with no submit button to the Google Language Tools.

Updated (2005-04-28): C�dric Savarese asked people in his blog for suggestions of applications that would need an Ajax makeover. What we did with Translate This is an example. You have a suggestion? Post it in C�dric's blog.


  1. Hi,

    Like your work. Arrived here via Cedric's site/s. It's vital to include a submit button for vision-impaired folks who listen to web pages with a screen reader. Try moving through options in a form drop-down menu with your eyes closed using Jaws or a similar app. If there's no submit button, you move to each option as soon as the focus lands on it ... no chance to examine the choices and pick one.

    Not too difficult to include a submit button and style it up with css if you have basic design skills.

    ta ta for now,

  2. in his blog.