As stated in the title, when going to the home page, could it be possible to have the input focus in the search box since this is the place most users go?

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This functionality would be a slick feature –  Jon Jan 21 '12 at 0:47
    
Can you support "this is the place most users go"? –  Monica Cellio Jan 11 '13 at 16:22
    
This is a bad idea because it breaks other keyboard uses, like arrows for scrolling and backspace for browser back. Tab takes you to the search box, so it's not like you have to use the mouse to get there. –  Monica Cellio Jan 11 '13 at 16:25
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4 Answers

Since there's only one input field on the main page, it's not a 'bad' idea. If there were more than one input field, I'd be highly suspect. I agree with Bill the Lizard on this subject.

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Wouldn't this mess up use of the arrow keys (for scrolling)? I do that all the time. –  Monica Cellio Jan 11 '13 at 16:23
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I would respectfully say this might not be the best idea. Its one of those things that seems good at first glance, but ...

First, there seems to be one big (possibly unfounded) assumption there - and I have to ask:

Do most people go to the search box?

How do you know most people didn't get here via Google and are already on the question they want? How do you know that the bulk of the people who go straight to the home page aren't the folks looking for something to answer rather than something to ask? Just sayin'.

Also, are people really going to be that o.k. with the site deciding where their focus ought to be?

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I agree with AnonJr. I am used to being able to hit the backspace key on my keyboard in order to return to the previous page. If a textbox has focus, though, I can't do this (I just delete something I never typed).

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Agree completely; the only place we do this is on the user and tags pages –  Jeff Atwood Oct 15 '09 at 23:37
    
From the front page I, and I suspect other too, would go to the search box. From a page resulting in a search, the focus should not go to the search box. I also agree with Bill The Lizard when a field has already got the input focus then the page must not change it. –  Stecy Oct 16 '09 at 12:21
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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Ok, I don't know if this was present from the start but I can hit TAB and the cursor would go to the search box and allow me to type the query.

This allow for using the site without a mouse now.

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