Behavior of "Previous" button

25 Jul 2007 - 3:52pm
6 years ago
8 replies
857 reads
SusieComet
2006

I'm looking for a standard on this! All comments welcome.

When in a web-based, form-based application with multiple pages (Previous,
Next buttons on each page), should the previous button validate/save dirty
data when clicked? Or should user be warned that data on current page is
dirty and be asked to make a decision to either save or continue to
previous page?

Aside from standards, what would your preference be? Would you assume that
changing data and then clicking Previous would automatically save your
change, or discard it?

Thanks,
Susan Patrick
User Interface Designer
The Midland Company
(513) 947-6072

"Design is a process - an intimate collaboration between engineers,
designers, and clients." - Henry Dreyfuss, Industrial Designer

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Comments

27 Jul 2007 - 12:09am
cfmdesigns
2004

On Jul 25, 2007, at 1:52 PM, SPatrick at amig.com wrote:

> When in a web-based, form-based application with multiple pages
> (Previous,
> Next buttons on each page), should the previous button validate/
> save dirty
> data when clicked? Or should user be warned that data on current
> page is
> dirty and be asked to make a decision to either save or continue to
> previous page?
>
> Aside from standards, what would your preference be? Would you
> assume that
> changing data and then clicking Previous would automatically save your
> change, or discard it?

First, if you're going to warn them, warn them *before* they click
instead of after, such as with text by the button that says "(Data
will be discard if you don't save)". They can get the info at their
leisure and never have a stop dialog in their face.

That said, text saying "(Data will be saved)" takes even less space!
And it puts a positive spin on the message, too.

What would my own preference be? That would depend on why I am
likely to click Previous. If my goal is to go back, change an
answer, and then come back to where I left off and continue, I would
want info preserved. If my goal is to go back and change something
which will send me down a different path, then the info I entered on
the current page is likely bogus and I don't want it saved. If my
goal is to find a way to exit the entire app -- goo back to the very
start, many pages ago, then I don't need data saved.

-- Jim

27 Jul 2007 - 12:09am
Peyush Agarwal
2007

Hi Susan,
I've done some work on wizards and 'mediated interactions' before, and in my experience, from a user's point of view, the system should transparently hold the dirty data - whether it saves it for eternity, or just holds it in cache locally. Also, if changes are made on previous page, then obviously upon 'next' the situation needs to be re-evaluated to determine whether the original dirty data is still applicable. If it is, no harm-no foul and all's right with the world. If it isn't however, then the screen state implies re-entry of data.

An additional trickiness reveals itself if you allow 'save for later' type functionality. So the user goes to previous page then decides to quit for now and return later. In that case, there seem to be equally logical arguments for and against holding dirty data for the next session.

Of course what you want and what tech can deliver often diverge. Your implementation situation may force you to do some excess butlerization (would you like me to save or discard your data, sir) where the user might just be thinking 'just deal with it, freak, and leave me alone!'

Hope this helps.

-Peyush

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of SPatrick at amig.com
Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2007 2:52 PM
To: ixd-discussion
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Behavior of "Previous" button

I'm looking for a standard on this! All comments welcome.

When in a web-based, form-based application with multiple pages (Previous,
Next buttons on each page), should the previous button validate/save dirty
data when clicked? Or should user be warned that data on current page is
dirty and be asked to make a decision to either save or continue to
previous page?

Aside from standards, what would your preference be? Would you assume that
changing data and then clicking Previous would automatically save your
change, or discard it?

Thanks,
Susan Patrick
User Interface Designer
The Midland Company
(513) 947-6072

"Design is a process - an intimate collaboration between engineers,
designers, and clients." - Henry Dreyfuss, Industrial Designer

-----------------------------------------
CONFIDENTIALITY STATEMENT:
This e-mail transmission contains information that is intended to
be confidential. It is intended only for the addressee named
above. If you receive this e-mail in error, please do not read,
copy, or disseminate it. If you are not the intended recipient,
any disclosure, copying, distribution or use of the contents of
this information is prohibited. Please reply to the message
immediately by informing the sender that the message was
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27 Jul 2007 - 8:47am
bminihan
2007

I agree with your point about what tech can deliver. Web pages
introduce a quirk here in their asynchronous nature. Behaviors that
prevent you from closing a browser to keep you from destroying data
can annoy and irritate folks, who don't usually have to "confirm"
anything before closing a browser. On the other hand, if you
temporarily save data while the user is working, how do you (reliably)
detect when they've left the system and want to save what they've
done, or when they truly want to give up - many folks treat "close my
browser" the same way they treat a "cancel" button.

- Bryan

> Of course what you want and what tech can deliver often diverge.
> Your implementation situation may force you to do some excess
> butlerization (would you like me to save or discard your data,
> sir) where the user might just be thinking 'just deal with it,
> freak, and leave me alone!'
>
> Hope this helps.
>
> -Peyush

27 Jul 2007 - 9:32am
stauciuc
2006

I agree with Peyush. And I also think that there should be no validation
done on 'Back' - at least not the kind of validation that requires the user
to revisit/reenter data. To be more precise, the user should always be
allowed to go back at the click of a button, no matter what.

On 7/27/07, Peyush Agarwal <peyush.agarwal at oracle.com> wrote:
>
> Hi Susan,
> I've done some work on wizards and 'mediated interactions' before, and in
> my experience, from a user's point of view, the system should transparently
> hold the dirty data - whether it saves it for eternity, or just holds it in
> cache locally. Also, if changes are made on previous page, then obviously
> upon 'next' the situation needs to be re-evaluated to determine whether the
> original dirty data is still applicable. If it is, no harm-no foul and all's
> right with the world. If it isn't however, then the screen state implies
> re-entry of data.
>
>

--
Sergiu Sebastian Tauciuc
http://www.sergiutauciuc.ro/en/

27 Jul 2007 - 10:37am
Matt Rehkopf
2007

If a standard exists, and by \"standard\" I mean what users would expect to happen after the interaction, then it would be the same as the back button: \"previous\" means \"back\". In this case, no data would be saved.

Any decision to stray from this standard it seems would need to be justified by the user type (public, internal) and context (one time form, lengthy form, frequently used form, etc.). In this case, understanding how, when, and why the user uses the form will help inform what type of deviation should be applied.

27 Jul 2007 - 11:45am
Peyush Agarwal
2007

Hi Bryan,
We've tried various approaches over the years, and our current best compromise is to implicitly save the data upon discrete events or at regular intervals. If the user closes the browser, then upon next login we present a list of incomplete tasks or open applications so they can continue or explicitly destroy it.

Doing so however, is heavily dependent upon capabilities of the tech stack, not just communication between the browser and the next layer. So there are systems where we were able to get this, and others where we weren't.

Of course, none of these issues arise when the user uses one of the exits we provide - save for later, submit, cancel etc.

-Peyush

-----Original Message-----
From: bjminihan at nc.rr.com [mailto:bjminihan at nc.rr.com]
Sent: Friday, July 27, 2007 7:48 AM
To: Peyush Agarwal
Cc: ixd-discussion
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Behavior of "Previous" button

I agree with your point about what tech can deliver. Web pages
introduce a quirk here in their asynchronous nature. Behaviors that
prevent you from closing a browser to keep you from destroying data
can annoy and irritate folks, who don't usually have to "confirm"
anything before closing a browser. On the other hand, if you
temporarily save data while the user is working, how do you (reliably)
detect when they've left the system and want to save what they've
done, or when they truly want to give up - many folks treat "close my
browser" the same way they treat a "cancel" button.

- Bryan

> Of course what you want and what tech can deliver often diverge.
> Your implementation situation may force you to do some excess
> butlerization (would you like me to save or discard your data,
> sir) where the user might just be thinking 'just deal with it,
> freak, and leave me alone!'
>
> Hope this helps.
>
> -Peyush

27 Jul 2007 - 11:51am
Gustavo Gawry
2006

Hi Susan,

It looks quite clear for me. I think you should hold
dirty data, you just don't need to store this
data in the same database of the real data
you can put them separated and transfer the
data when its completed.

Thanks,
Gawry

On 7/27/07, Sebi Tauciuc <stauciuc em gmail.com> wrote:
>
> I agree with Peyush. And I also think that there should be no validation
> done on 'Back' - at least not the kind of validation that requires the
> user
> to revisit/reenter data. To be more precise, the user should always be
> allowed to go back at the click of a button, no matter what.
>
> On 7/27/07, Peyush Agarwal <peyush.agarwal em oracle.com> wrote:
> >
> > Hi Susan,
> > I've done some work on wizards and 'mediated interactions' before, and
> in
> > my experience, from a user's point of view, the system should
> transparently
> > hold the dirty data - whether it saves it for eternity, or just holds it
> in
> > cache locally. Also, if changes are made on previous page, then
> obviously
> > upon 'next' the situation needs to be re-evaluated to determine whether
> the
> > original dirty data is still applicable. If it is, no harm-no foul and
> all's
> > right with the world. If it isn't however, then the screen state implies
> > re-entry of data.
> >
> >
>
>
> --
> Sergiu Sebastian Tauciuc
> http://www.sergiutauciuc.ro/en/
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss em ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://beta.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://beta.ixda.org/help
> Unsubscribe ................ http://beta.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> Questions .................. list em ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org
>

--
Gustavo Gawry
User Experience Analyst
Analista de Experiência do Usuário

www.gawry.com (in portuguese)

27 Jul 2007 - 12:11pm
SusieComet
2006

Thanks for all the advice, you've given me a lot to think about! It appears
the system in question is inconsistent with save behavior on the previous
button so I've got to first sort that out, then put forth a recommendation.
Thanks again,
Susan Patrick
User Interface Designer
The Midland Company
(513) 947-6072

"Design is a process - an intimate collaboration between engineers,
designers, and clients." - Henry Dreyfuss, Industrial Designer

-----------------------------------------
CONFIDENTIALITY STATEMENT:
This e-mail transmission contains information that is intended to
be confidential. It is intended only for the addressee named
above. If you receive this e-mail in error, please do not read,
copy, or disseminate it. If you are not the intended recipient,
any disclosure, copying, distribution or use of the contents of
this information is prohibited. Please reply to the message
immediately by informing the sender that the message was
misdirected. After replying, please erase it from your computer
system. Your assistance in correcting this error is appreciated.

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