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Currently, the search box requires the enter key to start a search. This is a bit hard to do when your device doesn't have one. We can has search button?

Posting from a Zune HD.

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I can't believe this has been declined - isn't usability an issue with the trilogy? –  alex Dec 14 '09 at 2:07
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The Zune doesn't have a return key!? How are you suppose to make your grocery-list... –  Jonathan Sampson Mar 26 '10 at 21:11
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5 Answers 5

up vote 15 down vote accepted

An alternative would be to add a search page, available via a link on the page footer. This would include a proper button, and possibly additional search options.

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Very nice idea. –  Pëkka Mar 26 '10 at 20:45
    
If this is the answer - can there be a mobile search page? –  sq33G Nov 2 '11 at 22:42
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We won't be adding a button, but I guess I could make the background clickable (the search icon is a background-image specified in CSS).

edit: I view this as a problem with the browser on that platform, not our problem. If the iPhone browser can handle this, the Zune / Blackberry / etc browser should be able to, as well.

edit: see that Android already followed Apple's lead here, so this really is a platform issue as I said: http://android.stackexchange.com/questions/1872/how-to-use-the-search-box-on-these-stack-exchange-sites-with-the-galaxy-s

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That won't work for the HD, as when you "click" on the search text box it brings up the editor in which you type. No button even for certain user agent strings? –  Won't Oct 19 '09 at 18:48
    
How about double clicks? –  Pëkka Mar 26 '10 at 20:31
    
@Pekka: That won't work for Opera Mini - the focus/click model there is IMO similar to elinks: there's an element with the focus, and clicking it invokes the default action (open a link, edit a form field, submit a form). Although Opera Mini has some JS capability, it definitely won't recognize double click and context click events. –  Piskvor Sep 9 '10 at 8:34
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(btw, Opera Mini runs on devices that have about as much CPU power/RAM as your typical toaster (e.g. Sony Ericsson T610),so "iPhone works, there's no problem" seems a bit like saying "the desktop application works on my 8-core, 64GB RAM machine, therefore no problem exists") –  Piskvor Sep 9 '10 at 8:41
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((I've just tried upgrading, and the search box seems to be working in the latest build of Opera Mini 4. Great!)) –  Piskvor Sep 9 '10 at 11:10
    
Search has always worked on Opera Mini. –  uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN Sep 10 '10 at 8:00
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I stronly urge you to reconsider this, as the current state makes the most prominent search box completely unusable, and with the new SE 2.0 sites, we can expect a influx of users not using regular browsers. a example would be users who browse one of the sites on their Wii for example. –  alexanderpas Sep 16 '10 at 10:58
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@alex it's plenty usable on android and iphone browsers. You might ask why other browsers fail at this.. –  Jeff Atwood Sep 16 '10 at 10:59
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@Jeff - As @Piskvor said, "'iPhone works, there's no problem' seems a bit like saying 'the desktop application works on my 8-core, 64GB RAM machine, therefore no problem exists'" –  Arda Xi Sep 16 '10 at 14:13
    
@Arda Actually, it's more like saying, "We support the latest official release of IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari. We will support other browsers as needed, according to site usage logs." Notably they do NOT support the iOS browser and android browsers - a lot of features do not work on them. The fact that Apple and Google both got this feature right indicates that rather than getting a workaround on the site for your broken browser, you should focus your attention on getting the manufacturer to fix the problem so all sites are fixed. –  Adam Davis Feb 16 '11 at 17:54
    
@Pollyanna It really isn't. First of all, I have an Android device, so it's not 'my browser', but "The fact that Apple and Google both got this feature right" indicates that a minority of market share is now capable of viewing the site. Woohoo. Both, added up, still don't beat Symbian. They're actually only about 35% together. How does that prove anything, other than suffering from a severe case of tunnel vision? –  Arda Xi Feb 16 '11 at 20:32
    
@arda 35% of the total Internet browser market? The mobile market accounts for a very small fraction of total visits to so. That's why they focus on the desktop browsers. Once one of the mobile browsers accounts for ten to twenty percent of stack overflow's total traffic, you can bet they will consider supporting it specifically. –  Adam Davis Feb 16 '11 at 22:24
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@Pollyanna Mobile browsers happen to be a corner case where this is important. However, there are more reasons to have another way to submit the search. Otherwise, why bother to have an 'Add Comment' button for example? –  Arda Xi Feb 16 '11 at 23:20
    
@arda because users expect single line text boxes to work with enter, while they don't expect that behavior from multiline text boxes. –  Adam Davis Feb 16 '11 at 23:30
    
shouldn't we be opting for the platform indepent choice here...? –  deostroll Sep 30 '11 at 9:34
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Isn't this only an issue if your virtual keyboard doesn't have an enter key? My phone (HTC Hero - an Android phone) only has a virtual keyboard, but that keyboard has an enter key and it works fine on this site. I guess my point is that I imagine there aren't many devices that have a keyboard and yet still manage to not have an enter key of some kind.

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I also have this problem is both Opera Mobile and Symbian S60's default browser.

The phone has a RETURN key, but the problem is that while you're entering the text, you're in a special "input mode", that doesn't respond in the same way.

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A solution would be to add a submit button on the search form, styles as if it was just a link, which is doubles as a link to the search page when the form is empty.

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+1 for it also being link to the search page –  ChrisF Sep 16 '10 at 11:04
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