One of my favorite recent trends in web design is keyboard navigation. Used correctly, it can greatly enhance the experience of a website. Using the arrow keys on sites like Thinking For A Living and Designspiration make the consumption of large amounts of content quicker, easier and more engaging.
Google have also recently implemented keyboard shortcuts into their search results, allowing users to quickly browse through instant previews and find what they are looking for.
I’ve also just finished development of a WordPress theme – Keybrdr, pictured above – that allows you to use sliding keyboard navigation on your own blog, website or portfolio.
So, what’s all the fuss about?
For me, it’s all about engagement.
There’s something about pressing a physical button and having a website actually react, rather than passively scrolling, that just feels nicer.
It’s part of what makes the iPad such a captivating device – being able to manipulate what you see on screen with your fingers. Keyboard navigation brings some of that touch-screen magic to your desktop.
This increased level of engagement makes sites with keyboard navigation stand out from the crowd, giving users a refreshing change of pace from monotonous mouse scrolling and naturally making the content more engaging.
Here’s a few useful links to help you get started:
Or if you don’t want to get into coding something from scratch, and you’re using WordPress, please check out my theme Keybrdr!