Addicting interactions #3

March 14th, 2009 Un comentario

The Back Button

Safari's back button

With the birth of web browsers, the Back Button became a standard for navegational undo. Soon, Flash based sites started frustrating users us all by breaking the back button. We saw it happen again some years later, as rich internet applications flourished without keeping this in mind. The latter are programs that don’t rely on the page browsing metaphore, but try to emulate Desktop applications, where different steps of interaction usually happen on the same canvas.

But while the breaking of the back button on websites is often fixed successfully, offline designers are forgetting that we are now hooked to having a back button on every place CTRL+Z does not reach: navigational interactions need an undo too!

Modern mobile interfaces, born after the web, thus with this navigational undo in mind, usually deliver a smooth user experience on those “Ouch, this is not where I wanted to be” times:

iPhone's back(ish) button

Although this is not strictly a back and forward thing, Apple did a brilliant job making the back button almost mandatory on every step of every iPhone app. Yet, I keep missing the back button on navigational programs such as iPhoto. Back button, I love you.

16th March update:
Spotify represents the perfect example of what I mean:

Spotify's navegational undo