Aggravating Facebook UI Quirk

I just noticed something particularly aggravating about the Facebook user interface (UI) that has never come to my attention before. Now, this is an issue with the UI, not with the Wall, and how information is streamed on it, related to the big Facebook update a few weeks ago. For a website with such a good UI – aside from not being able to change that blue color, but even that is doable if you load up certain Greasemonkey scripts or do some other tricks – this one is so basic, I was truly surprised when I found it.


I usually don’t send or receive much Facebook email. I’ll hit the Inbox, delete a message, or reply to one, but not that often. This morning however, I typed a rather longish message to a long-time friend of mine, as Facebook is the best way for me to reach him these days, and when I was finished, I did my standard “time to send” keystroke and hit the spacebar. When I’m in Gmail, this is Tab to the Send key, then Spacebar to activate. This time, in Facebook, that keystroke took me right to the Cancel button, and when I activated it – I lost my entire message.

Behold the Facebook Compose Message dialog. Strangely enough, after typing in the Message area, hitting Tab takes you directly to the Cancel button. While not a crime against humanity, or even a shocking display of rudeness, I feel this is a glaring problem with this UI element.

Now it could be that I am the only one to notice this (which I doubt) or that I’m the only designer/UI person to actually have a problem with it (also doubtful) but I’m willing to bet that some typical users have been bitten by this as well. And I further bet they haven’t like it one bit.

I can think of very few forms or dialog boxes where after interacting with the last prompt, hitting the Tab key will take you to the Cancel button. Am I alone in having a problem with this? Rant off!

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