Why We Should Lose The Back Button?
from the not-this-again dept
While, in general, I think people who focus on user interface design issues are very important, I’m beginning to get tired of the really outspoken ones who insist on somewhat outlandish ideas for their own personal satisfaction. The latest is this obsession with getting rid of the back button in the browser, championed by Richard Mander. His argument makes sense at first. The back button is poorly designed and doesn’t really tell you where you’re going properly. However, at this point, most people know where it is and what it does. Changing a basic navigational item once people understand it and are used to it doesn’t make much sense and tends to cause a lot more confusion in the long run. In the article, he also complains about a number of other user interface design standards. You begin to realize that what he really wants is for everything to be completely dumbed down. One of the nice things about the web is that once you figure it out, it all makes sense. Sure, there’s a bit of a learning curve, but how many people do you know have decided they can’t figure it out? It only takes a very quick experimentation to understand how it works, and then it works great. Mander assumes that no one can use the web, and it needs to be dumbed down even more. It’s no wonder he was a fan of the annoying paper clip from Microsoft Office. I’m mildly suprised that this is the first mainstream tech news article I’ve seen in ages about user interface design that doesn’t mention Jakob Nielsen.