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Should we be adding Keyboard Shortcuts to our websites?

I remember when I was young, and sometimes the mouse would just stop working. When that happened, oh, it was good: I could try to fix the mouse, but it was much more fun to try to do things without any clicks whatsoever. There's nothing like a good self-imposed challenge to motivate us.

Things have evolved, and nowadays the trackpad is so close to the keyboard that using it feels as convenient as typing for me, sometimes even more. I find myself using a mix of keyboard shortcuts or terminal commands with a few clicks here and there.

But I see shortcut hints everywhere.

I see shortcut hints

Take, for instance, VSCode. Do you know all of them by heart and use them? I don't. I use the terminal for sure, but other than that, I click everywhere.

VSCode Shortcuts

I recently found this beautiful website, Resend. It even kind of overdoes shortcuts to the point that, after you move your cursor, you realize that you could have just typed a letter to go to that page. I wonder if people move the cursor over the button and then decide to type instead of click. I do it, just for fun.


Then there is the mother of all. Superhuman, advocating for productivity in emails:


This one is from Plane:


Even GitHub -- never used it:


Decipad makes it very complex, allowing users to customize shortcuts - or better, formulas, as they call:


We could go on and on, but we want to hear from you. What do you think? Should we be adding keyboard shortcuts to our websites?

Top comments (4)

jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel πŸ•΅πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Fayard • Edited

You should distinguish keyboard shortcuts and command palettes.

Keyboard shortcuts use our muscle memories. The few ones you use all the time are really useful. But then learning more keyboard shortcuts has very strong diminishing returns.

Command palettes leverage our ability to master language.
That make them far far more generally useful because we humans have very strong language skills.
I use command palettes for everything.
Alfred for example is the command palette for my Mac

opensourcee profile image
OpenSource • Edited

That's a great distinction. It's the difference between recall and recognize. Recalling is always more difficult. Great input. Thanks, mate!

jungar1111 profile image
jungar1111 • Edited

Yes. Shortcuts make a huge difference for people who need accessibility options.

pachicodes profile image
Pachi πŸ₯‘

This is a really important reminder!