Mouse Trapping Becoming More Popular

from the nooooooooooooooooooooooo dept

Well, hopefully, this won’t go the way of the pop-up window which now (tragically) has almost become an accepted concept for many sites. It seems that some fairly well known sites have started engaging in mouse trapping, where you are prevented from hitting the back button on your browser to get out of the site. Among the big names doing this are Amtrak and Home Depot. They (of course) claim they have good intentions, but it’s scary that this could become a lot more common. Home Depot appears to have gotten rid of their mouse-trapping (though they do have a pop-up window). Oh yeah, and for a little while I thought this might be an article on web usability that didn’t quote Jakob Nielsen, but he shows up about two-thirds of the way down.

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Comments on “Mouse Trapping Becoming More Popular”

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Ed says:

Never attribute to malice...

…what can be explained by stupidity. How many back button “disables” are caused simply by having one URL redirect to another one? That’s just poor site design, not anything malicious.

One could also argue that functional browser software should do what the user wants it to, and if the back button doesn’t return the user to the page he was previously viewing, it’s broken.

The Captain says:

Too much

There’s too much that a website can DO to a browser that’s questionable or that ONLY a user should do HIMSELF (all in the name of “convenience”) Pop up windows that take up your whole screen…or that call each other as you close one…or pages that put themselves into your bookmarks without your specific consent etc.
Until all that stuff is removed (or at least, we have the option to REASONABLY disable most of it), its only going to get worse and unscrupulous webmasters WILL use it to THEIR advantage (not YOUR convenience as they will likely say)

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