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One of Jakob Nielson's often recited "10 Usability Heuristics" is:

"User control and freedom - Users often choose system functions by mistake
and will need a clearly marked "emergency exit" to leave the unwanted state
without having to go through an extended dialogue. Support undo and redo."
This obviously speaks in favor of the reset button on forms (whether on Web
interfaces on other UIs)
http://www.useit.com/papers/heuristic/heuristic_list.html

You can also use JavaScript to prevent some errors before users submit
http://developer.netscape.com/viewsource/goodman_ui.html

In any case, the reset button is a very polite feature. If it's not already
standard, I hope it will be soon.

An alternative to "reset" is "clear" (sometimes "clear fields"). Does anyone
know which of these is better? I know that "submit" has been criticized as
being too geekish - and I never liked it much myself.

I favor the combination send / clear.


Marc Crawford

Information Architect & Web Usability Consultant

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