In the best of all possible worlds, this is how the URL entry page would work:
default is www. (cursor starts to the right of .) - the user types a domain, and the space button creates a period (why would it ever create a space?!) - another idea: if the field is blank (like you just typed backspace once), a press of the space button enters "www." - getting you right to where you started
so say the user has typed in... www.example.com
the next space would type a "/"
What if the user was typing a subdomain?
-First of all, the if the backspace is pressed once, the whole of "www." is deleted.
-Complex domains (like www.example.co.uk
the space button is works as a period until
you type a recognized top level domain (.com, .net, .org, .us, ... etc, this is all defined - you can even throw in a few of the ones that are likely to pop up in the near future, like .xxx, for super forward compability)
So this is the experience of our test user through three scenerios:
He wants to go to "http://subdomain.example.com/fish.html"
-He types backspace once (the screen now just shows a blank field)
-He types: subdomain *space* example *space* com *space* fish.html (notice he types the actual period symbol before the "html" - because it's not obvious what he'd like to type - he could want a "/" a "." or even a space)
He wants to go to "http://www.google.com"
-he types: google *space* com
He wants to go to "http://www.example.co.uk/directory"
-he types: example *space* co *space* uk *space* directory
I do not know if this is at all possible to impliment. It would be a killer feature and a great improvement in productivity, though.
One other suggestion: in the "surf the web page," make it much easier for the user to get to the URL entry box. If the user presses any button from A-Z it should launch the URL entry page. Or better yet, the field should expand and the URL should be launched on the same screen.
I also suggest you consider if the
button really needs to make a line break - can't that just be the submit button? Is it even possible to search Google with text strings that are broken up with line breaks? Perhaps
can be the submit button, and if a user really needs a line break, they can press alt-enter?
If you actually take my suggestions I'll be overjoyed. Thanks for listening to your customers!