I use the TAB key on the keyboard a lot; it makes the job of navigating on a web page (or even a desktop application) easier. I find though that tab sequences are anything but easy to figure out.
For instance, if you use Gmail or Yahoo! Mail, and enter your username and password, using the TAB key to navigate, after you enter the password and press the TAB key, you’ll be taken to the ‘Remember me on this computer’ check box. (With Hotmail it’s a ‘Forgot your Password?’ hyperlink)
Only after you press the TAB once more, are you taken to the Sign In button.
There’s nothing wrong with that sequence you say, since the check box is before the Sign In button. But, why did the designer put that check box before the Sign In button and not after? Isn’t the first thing that you want to do is read your email? Why add an additional step?
It’s fine to have that step, just don’t have it in that place. Put the ‘Remember me’ somewhere else, maybe below the Sign In button. Or, maybe even after the person signs in and views his or her email. A check box at the top that says, ‘Don’t ask for my login details when I am on this computer’. Or something like that.
Tab sequences are useful, but sometimes I find them getting in the way of the task I need to perform. It’s not the tab sequence that’s to blame though, it’s someone else.
PS: Check out the tab sequence in the Blogger login page; it’s interesting.