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Browser 'back' is_a Undo

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Sun, 06 Feb 2000 20:13:08 -0600
Message-Id: <200002070106.UAA828901@smtp2.mail.iamworld.net>
To: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
[This is a blind copy of a post originally to <uaccess-l@trace.wisc.edu>
and <chi-web@acm.org>.]

>Forwarded message follows:
>Date:         Fri, 4 Feb 2000 10:57:55 +0100
>Reply-To: Pascal MAGNENAT <pascal.magnenat@INTERACTIONS.CH>
>Sender: "ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)" <CHI-WEB@acm.org>
>From: Pascal MAGNENAT <pascal.magnenat@INTERACTIONS.CH>
>Subject:      61% of users could not buy train tickets on the Swiss Federal
>              Railways site
>To: CHI-WEB@acm.org
>Possible origins of poor usability:
>- unpredictable effect of the browser "back" button (many users tried to
>delete an item thrown in the trolley by this mean)
>- reliability

[Note for U.S. readers new to the thread.  This is from a European study.
The 'trolley' is the shopping cart in a retail website.]

This is an absolutely stunning clue.

In all the fighting about whether 'Back' should be a scripted button on the
page or a browser function, I had not previously heard this.

To make hypermedia browsing accessible to the iOpener customer base, we
have to understand that "undo link traversal" is a special case of "undo"
in the user's total experience.  We need to make sure that all these
flavors of "undo" blend smoothly so that the user is not surprised by what
they do.

It's not just clicks that we need to sort out over the subprocess or layer
stack to see who gets to handle them.  It's 'undos' too.  And the user
doesn't want to know there is a difference.


>The full report (English version) is available at
>Have a nice day.
>Pascal Magnenat
>Usability consultant
>"Usability professionals' association" member
>Phone +41 878 878 638
>Fax +41 860 793 01 39 01
>Email pascal.magnenat@interactions.ch
>Web site  http://wwww.interactions.ch
>Postal address Colombettes 21, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland
Received on Sunday, 6 February 2000 20:05:20 UTC

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