Keyboard Navigation On Mobile Is Difficult

Out of the 1286 respondents, 738 noted that they do not use an external keyboard to navigate content on mobile devices (85.4%). There were still 126 respondents (14.6%) that noted that they do use external keyboards, which is a user type that is not often considered in mobile application development. There is a common assumption that users on mobile devices must use touch interaction only to navigate their operating systems.

One of the culprits for the lower use could be indicated in the high percentage (67.5%) of users that noted keyboard on mobile not being intuitive. 583 respondents stated “No” to the question “Is keyboard navigation on mobile applications and websites intuitive?” Keyboard navigation was not always fully available in mobile devices, for instance full keyboard support was added in iOS 13.4.1. So there could be a limitation from the operating system support that users find it harder to use.

Of the 235 individuals who identify as professionals in the industry, a significant portion, 120 of them, believe that keyboard navigation on mobile applications is not intuitive. This represents 51% of the professional group, highlighting a noteworthy skepticism among experts regarding the user-friendliness of current keyboard navigation solutions on mobile platforms.

In contrast, among the 1051 respondents who do not consider themselves professionals in the industry, 463 share the sentiment that keyboard navigation on mobile applications lacks intuitiveness. This accounts for 44% of this group, suggesting a slightly more positive outlook compared to their professional counterparts.

Key Takeaway

These findings indicate a significant challenge in implementing support of keyboard navigation for mobile applications which may be influencing adoption. For developers and designers, this calls for a reevaluation of how interactive elements are implemented on mobile applications, aiming for more user-friendly and intuitive solutions. Many times native development frameworks includes options to support keyboard, but if development does not include the features correctly, users may be unable to use the apps. Though there is a smaller adoption rate, there may be users that have to rely on keyboards

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