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Susan Farrell <[log in to unmask]>
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Susan Farrell <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 7 Oct 2005 09:25:38 -0700
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At 9:02 PM +1000 10/5/05, Tania Lang wrote:
>I vent in the vain hope that others will be convinced of the need to 
>get rid of Reset buttons.  This

I routinely recommend against clear/reset buttons for all the reasons 
mentioned. Also, the destructo button is usually in the lower right 
position almost touching the do-it button, increasing the likelihood 
of an error.

If someone must keep the button for some reason, I tell them it 
should be moved far away from the Do-it button, and it should be 
renamed something like "erase all," because "clear" and "reset" are 
jargony and might be misunderstood, especially by people less 
familiar with computers or English. Of course "submit" is also jargon 
and should also not be used, IMO. The button labels should reflect 
the user intention rather than the system action. so "send mail" or 
"save itinerary" and so on are better names for it.

...and of course, What Would Jakob Do?:
"Most Web forms would have improved usability if the Reset button was 
removed. Cancel buttons are also often of little value on the Web."

Appearance is also very important in a two-button world. I was 
shocked to discover that the buttons on the login form 
caused me to make errors more times than not.

When I was a member, I wanted to hit "login" but instead hit the 
brightly colored "sign up" almost every time, first. Once I did it 5 
times in a row when I was trying to sign in while talking on the 
phone. It astonished me how often I made this mistake, especially as 
it's so annoying to do. (This type of combo form for both members and 
registration is a bad idea anyway because it helps generate errors 
for both kinds of user.)

So if you must have two buttons, I think it's important to make the 
nondestructive button more attractive visually, as well as easier to 
get to in terms of positioning.

Susan Farrell <[log in to unmask]>
User Experience Specialist - Nielsen Norman Group

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