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Accessibility and Usability Forum

Back button versus back drop down menu
any info on what % of users know it's there?

 7:26 pm on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

OK, so we know the back button is one of the most used 'links'.

I am working on a somewhat interactive site and to go back several steps (am trying to do this without using cookies) to a personalized results page is important.

Do people really use that drop down menu, or are they tired of it since a lot of DB driven sites just do not make use of the title tag and you will never find where you want to go back to? Or did users never really find out about it?

do we know of any statistics?

would it be better to just put a dynamic link on the page (cookie driven) to get them to that results page?

what's your take?



 5:02 pm on Feb 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

I can't answer your question with statistics but even people who do know how to use drop down menus may skip them.

I've been reading Krug's "Don't Make Me Think" and he has really made me think about some of the things I've done in my site design.

Krug goes one farther than just looking at how many use a feature. He points out that even if the visitor to a site is familiar with a function if it takes extra steps the visitor may just move on.

People do what is fast and familiar. The back button is just that.


 8:25 pm on Feb 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Do you suggest I get the book? Is it 'a must read', or did you feel it was just driving a point home you already knew about?

BTW I decided to go with cookies ..


 3:32 am on Feb 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

It's helping me a lot, I'd say it's well worth reading. It's short and to the point with a touch of humor. But it does make you think about a lot of your assumptions.

The other good resource is Jakob Nielsen's site. Start with [useit.com...]


 1:44 am on Feb 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

well I do think Nielsen could do with margins at least ..

thanks for your input!


 3:49 am on Feb 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

I noticed that and also the text is sooo big. I'm one of those seniors they talk about in terms of usability. I'm not nuts about teeny text but reading his pages reminded me of when you pick of one of those books in the dr's office with really huge print for people with major sight problems. It's too big to read comfortably.

So he may be the big usability guru but there are a few things he writes that I'm not so sure about. Good to read it though and think about all his points.

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