Reset / clear button on a web form

24 May 2005 - 3:46am
9 years ago
11 replies
1458 reads
nuritps
2010

Few years ago Nielsen wrote that reset buttons should not be used...
(http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20000416.html)
I generally agree.
The QA manager in my company treat it as a bug, so I thought I will
recheck what others are doing...
We have about 25 fields in the form, should I consider a clear button?
I don't think users use it, anyone with a research or testing or just an
opinion on this issue?

Thanks,
Nurit

Nurit Peres

: : nurit.peres at ams-sys.com <mailto:nurit.peres at ams-sys.com>
: : http://www.ams-sys.com <http://www.ams-sys.com%20/>

Comments

24 May 2005 - 4:00am
sudhindra
2004

Hi Nurit,
IMHO, the reset button is not to be used. I came across this situation and
got the developer to remove the button from the form.

Firstly, I don't see any reason why a user who has filled 25 fields would
like to clear all of them at once. He would not have put in the effort in
the first place if he wanted to clear it. He would probably only have a few
modifications to make.

Secondly, incase he hits it accidentally, he has to fill in all the fields
again which causes frustration and in the process, he may not fill in all
the fields with the same effort as he did the first time.

Thanks
Sudhindra

24 May 2005 - 4:13am
Petteri Hiisilä
2004

Nurit Peres wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> Few years ago Nielsen wrote that reset buttons should not be used...
> (http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20000416.html)
> I generally agree.
> The QA manager in my company treat it as a bug, so I thought I will
> recheck what others are doing...
> We have about 25 fields in the form, should I consider a clear button?
> I don't think users use it, anyone with a research or testing or just an
> opinion on this issue?

People will press the Reset button by accident and lose 25 fields of data.

There are not many occasions where reset button makes sense. I haven't
used it in my designs.

If there, for some reason, is a real need for a Reset button, put it
someplace else than next to Submit button. "Hide the ejector seat
levers." (A Cooper design axiom)

Best,
Petteri

--
Petteri Hiisilä
Palveluarkkitehti / Interaction Designer /
Alma Media Interactive Oy / NWS /
+358505050123 / petteri.hiisila at almamedia.fi

"I was told there's a miracle for each day that I try"
- John Petrucci

24 May 2005 - 4:26am
Tadej Maligoj
2004

Reset / Clear button is to be used on (advanced) filter form.
For others I agree with others posted here.

Tadej

On 5/24/05, Nurit Peres <Nurit.Peres at ams-sys.com> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> Few years ago Nielsen wrote that reset buttons should not be used...
> (http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20000416.html)
> I generally agree.
> The QA manager in my company treat it as a bug, so I thought I will
> recheck what others are doing...
> We have about 25 fields in the form, should I consider a clear button?
> I don't think users use it, anyone with a research or testing or just an
> opinion on this issue?
>
> Thanks,
> Nurit
>
>
>
>
> Nurit Peres
>
> : : nurit.peres at ams-sys.com <mailto:nurit.peres at ams-sys.com>
> : : http://www.ams-sys.com <http://www.ams-sys.com%20/>
>
> _______________________________________________
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--
_______________________________
Tadej Maligoj, Information Architect
e1: tadej.maligoj at gmail.com
e2: studio at maligoj.com
m: 031 306 986
w: www.maligoj.com

24 May 2005 - 6:09am
Gerard van Os
2005

Agree with the place to put it.

I could think of one reason for having a reset/clear function: It clears
the form so it cannot be accidentally sent. When starting with a form
and while filling it out one decides to not continue, a clear button
might be a sure way for the user that no information will be send at all.

Gerard

Petteri Hiisilä schreef:

>
> If there, for some reason, is a real need for a Reset button, put it
> someplace else than next to Submit button. "Hide the ejector seat
> levers." (A Cooper design axiom)
>
> Best,
> Petteri
>

24 May 2005 - 6:24am
Mattias Ask4
2005

I think you have to look at the context in which you consider the use of a Reset Button. I think that if you put it on a "Create your account"-page on a web shop I think that the user is more likely to use the Back-button in the browser then a Reset button. The reason for this is that if the user decides not to register he/she will also leave the page, thus making a Reset redundant.

If you in the other hand have an Internet banking solution you have more of live situation where the user handles money and what's to be certain that nothing accidentally goes wrong. In this case a reset button might be in place to reinsure the user that if he/she doesn't what something to happen, it won't.

Regards,
Mattias

On 2005-05-24 Gerard van Os wrote:

[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
>Agree with the place to put it.
>
>I could think of one reason for having a reset/clear function: It clears
>the form so it cannot be accidentally sent. When starting with a form
>and while filling it out one decides to not continue, a clear button
>might be a sure way for the user that no information will be send at all.
>
>Gerard

24 May 2005 - 6:30am
Marcin Wichary
2004

I have never seen it myself, but in theory it is possible to craft a
JavaScript-driven Reset button that's undoable... In a rare case that
Reset button is indeed needed (I believe Nielsen gave some examples
in the said example), it might be interesting to consider that.

--
Marcin Wichary >> mwichary at aresluna.org
GUIdebook: Graphical User Interface gallery >> www.aci.com.pl/
mwichary/gui
Usability.pl >> www.usability.pl

24 May 2005 - 6:46am
Marcin Wichary
2004

> I guess you could buffer everything in the form to JavaScript
> variables.
> Then, when the Reset button is clicked, its state & label could
> change to "Restore", until such a point as any further change were
> made to form fields.

That's exactly along the lines of what I was thinking of. I wonder,
though, how many visitors will react to the apparent disaster of
accidentally pressing Reset by clicking on the Back button, for
example, or otherwise not noticing the Restore option -- especially
as Reset/Restore labels look uncomfortably similar to me. :)

--
Marcin Wichary >> mwichary at aresluna.org
GUIdebook: Graphical User Interface gallery >> www.aci.com.pl/
mwichary/gui
Aresluna >> www.aresluna.org

24 May 2005 - 8:14am
Jack L. Moffett
2005

> People will press the Reset button by accident and lose 25 fields of data.

It seems to me that a reset button deserves the extra step of a confirmation
dialog.

Jack

Jack L. Moffett
Interaction Designer
inmedius
412.690.2360 x219
http://www.inmedius.com

Form follows function -
that has been misunderstood.
Form and function should be one,
joined in a spiritual union.

- Frank Lloyd Wright

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24 May 2005 - 9:38pm
Sharad Solanki
2005

The usage of Reset button seems to hold ground in the situations where user is editing the information on the page.
- In a "Create"/"New" objects web form there may not be need of reset option as user can cancel the task and start all over again.
- In the "Edit" object case (specially 25 fields form) there may be need of putting the "Reset" button (optimized by javascript as suggested in the earlier mail).

My 2 cents

Sharad Singh Solanki
SUI
SAS (www.sas.com)

25 May 2005 - 11:30pm
LukeW
2004

This topic came up at the AJAX Summit 2 weeks ago [1]. Consider the
situation where AJAX is utilized to auto-save the contents of a Web
form as a user enters it. This potentially useful interaction (esp.
with extensive or important data entry in multi-tasking environments)
requires that a user can say "remove the data I just entered from
storage." Interestingly, the topic of "do we need a submit button if
data is saved on the server in real time?" also came up. The
consensus was users still need it due to established conventions and
their desire for verification.

[1] http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/050506/65579.html?.v=1
On May 24, 2005, at 3:13 AM, Petteri Hiisilä wrote:

> There are not many occasions where reset button makes sense. I
> haven't used it in my designs.

24 May 2005 - 3:48am
Ben Hunt
2004

I agree wholeheartedly
http://www.webdesignfromscratch.com/design_diary.cfm#clear_buttons

- Ben

Nurit Peres wrote:

>[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
>Few years ago Nielsen wrote that reset buttons should not be used...
>(http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20000416.html)
>I generally agree.
>The QA manager in my company treat it as a bug, so I thought I will
>recheck what others are doing...
>We have about 25 fields in the form, should I consider a clear button?
>I don't think users use it, anyone with a research or testing or just an
>opinion on this issue?
>
>Thanks,
>Nurit
>
>
>

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