Yáng Yuǎn Zhì (adudeabides) wrote in suggestions,
Yáng Yuǎn Zhì

Improve Auto-Complete Behavior When Composing Message

Improve Auto-Complete Behavior When Composing Message

Short, concise description of the idea
When entering a username while composing a message in LJ's message center, the auto-complete behavior is not consistent with most of the rest of the Internet; it should be changed.

Full description of the idea
When you begin typing in the to/name field while composing a message, the auto-complete feature does its thing by trying to auto-complete, with the remaining of the suggested name being highlighted.

On most other sites (and programs that have auto-suggest features), if I want to accept the choice I can hit the enter key or space bar, and it will complete the text I'm typing, append the appropriate delineator, and allow me to continue typing the next bit of text with no inconvenience. This does not work in LJ.

Hitting the space bar replaces the highlighted text with the space character. Instead, it should accept the currently highlighted (auto-completed) name, and append the appropriate delineator.

Hitting the enter bar submits/sends the message as is, to the highlighted name. The problem with this is that it is the first thing I do when addressing a message to complete the to field -- hitting enter sends a blank message to the intended recipient. Hitting the enter key should not automatically submit the form. Instead, it should accept the currently highlighted (auto-completed) name, and append the appropriate delineator.

(Alternatively, if this is not done, it might not be a bad ides to provide a script check with a dialog box when someone does hit enter in that field if the message field is empty...or only allow enter to post if hit from the message body field. Javascript will work; AJAX will be shiny!)

Currently, the only ways I seem to find to accept an auto-highlighted suggestion is to hit the right-arrow key or manually click to the right of the username to un-highlight the auto-completed portion. I will assume similar methods can be used (keyboard shortcuts to move to end of line/paragraph, etc), though these are not likely to be used.

Either way, reflex causes me to hit enter (as first attempt to accept), then space (as an alternate)...and neither work. Please change this behavior.

An ordered list of benefits
  • I will stop sending blank messages to people because I use the enter key. I'll also stop getting questions from recipients who don't understand why they get a blank message from me.
  • I won't have to take 5 minutes to type in a username or two because I decide to try the space bar as an alternate, causing it to replace the text I want it to use.
  • More intuitive functioning. (Unless I'm a freak in this regard??)
An ordered list of problems/issues involved
  • Those who enjoy sending blank messages to people will be perturbed by the change requiring them to take an extra step to actually send their blank message.
  • LJ users who dislike this change will complain about how LiveJournal's priorities don't match theirs, exactly, and threaten to never pay for an account ever, ever again.
  • I will be unable to avoid this sort of drama on LJ, as it often pops-up in unexpected places, and become frustrated at a segment of the LJ userbase.
  • Those users who've gotten used to this behavior will have to adjust their habits. But I feel a more intuitive approach is better than forcing people to get used to using workarounds to function.
Tags: message center inbox, private messaging, user interface, § no status
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