Scientists redesign the 'back' button

A very badly written article in covers this research project at the University of Caterbury, NZ, which is proposing a temporal model for back button browsing. The paper, Pushing Back: Evaluating a New Behaviour for the Back and Forward Buttons in Web Browsers (PDF), which is explained succinctly here on Slashdot.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

the article continues

The article continues:

"The main problem with the current back button is that recently visited pages disappear," said Cockburn in Nature magazine interview. "'Back' would more accurately be labelled up."

I can't recall my recently visited pages disappearing anytime recently either. What the hell are they talking about?




two steps forward, one step back, one step forward

go to site X, click link, link, link ... you now have three pages in your back history, click back, back, back ... you now have zero pages in your back history, and three in your forward history

now, click another link that takes you elsewhere ... you now have one page in your back history, and *zero* in your forward history


Ah I get it now. That was a very badly written article. They should have just referred to the actual paper -- thanks for linking to it JEH. Interesting.

Can't talk about back without forward?

Enough of the back button! What these boffins really want to be looking into is the FORWARD button. That's the real mystery. I've seen lots of usability testing and I still can't figure out how people think about that one.