Back button in TAB order

7 Nov 2006 - 6:40am
7 years ago
7 replies
872 reads
Lise L. Hansen
2006

Hi All,

At the bottom of a form we have a Back button to the left and a Continue
button to the right.

Where in the TAB order would you say that the Back button naturally
belongs?

And do you know of any standards for this?

Regards,

Lise

Usability Consultant, Denmark

________________________________________________________________

Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!

To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org

List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/

List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/

(Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/

Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/

Questions .................. lists at ixda.org

Home ....................... http://ixda.org/

Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org

Comments

7 Nov 2006 - 7:26am
AlokJain
2006

In user testing we have conduced across seveal kinds of applications,
we consistently found that people expect an action like Submit,
Continue etc (kind forward moving) to the left and actions like cancel
towards the right.

I would assume same would be expectation from tab order, but have not
explicitly tested that.

Cheers
Alok

On 11/7/06, Lise L. Hansen <llh at resultmaker.com> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> Hi All,
>
>
>
> At the bottom of a form we have a Back button to the left and a Continue
> button to the right.
>
>
>
> Where in the TAB order would you say that the Back button naturally
> belongs?
>
> And do you know of any standards for this?
>
>
>
> Regards,
>
> Lise
>
> Usability Consultant, Denmark
>
>
>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
>
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
>
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
>
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
>
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
>
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
>
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
>
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

--
Best Regards
Alok Jain
----------------------------------------------------------
User Experience Management Solutions
Satyam Computer Services Ltd. - Washington DC

7 Nov 2006 - 7:33am
Ripul Kumar
2005

Lise,

The default action button is the first button in the tab order after the form elements -- this button is most likely to be clicked.

In most cases, the "Back" button is not likely to be clicked in a form. So, the "Continue" or the "Next" button is the default button after the form elements. The order is:

Form Elements >> Default Button >> Other buttons

We can discuss the order of "Other Buttons" sometime else.

Cheers,
- Ripul

--
Ripul Kumar
Director, Usability Outsourcing & Consulting
Kern Communications Pvt. Ltd.
http://www.kern-comm.com
* Usability in India *

7 Nov 2006 - 7:40am
Adrian Howard
2005

On 7 Nov 2006, at 12:26, Alok Jain wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> In user testing we have conduced across seveal kinds of applications,
> we consistently found that people expect an action like Submit,
> Continue etc (kind forward moving) to the left and actions like cancel
> towards the right.

How curious. I've found exactly the opposite in user testing. Forward
movement looked to on the right, cancel/backward movement expected on
the left.

(this has been mostly with web apps.)

Cheers,

Adrian

7 Nov 2006 - 1:04pm
Josh
2006

We've found success in web forms with making the default button the "submit"
on the right side with "cancel" styled as a link instead of a button on the
left. I'm not sure if the positioning or the styling made the most
difference.

- Josh Viney

> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

7 Nov 2006 - 3:09pm
stauciuc
2006

Hi
Although I saw Submit and Cancel mentioned above, I will stick to this first
e-mail and assume we are talking about a kind of wizard, or something where
Back and Continue would make sense. In this case, we have some sort of time
precedence between 2 ore more screens. Time is usually conveyed from left
(past) to right (future). To me it makes perfect sense to have the Back
button on the left and the Continue on the right.
As to the tab order, I would have to agree with Ripul: the Continue button
should be the first in tab order, because it's much more likely to be used.

But that's just my opinion, nu studies to back me up :)
Sebi

On 11/7/06, Lise L. Hansen <llh at resultmaker.com> wrote:
>
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> Hi All,
>
>
>
> At the bottom of a form we have a Back button to the left and a Continue
> button to the right.
>
>
>
> Where in the TAB order would you say that the Back button naturally
> belongs?
>
> And do you know of any standards for this?
>
>
>
> Regards,
>
> Lise
>
> Usability Consultant, Denmark
>
>
>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
>
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
>
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
>
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
>
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
>
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
>
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
>
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

--
Sergiu Sebastian Tauciuc
http://www.sergiutauciuc.ro/en/

7 Nov 2006 - 5:18pm
cfmdesigns
2004

To heck with what everybody else said about where the button itself should be placed. You wanted the spot in the tab order.

The tab order should run roughly top-left to bottom-right, navigating through one grouped set of controls before moving on to the next, and favoring left-to-right before top-to-bottom. Standard Western reading order, in other words.

The initial focus should be on the first control that the user is likely to manipulate. Often this is a text box, but not necessarily; in a view where the likely action is to just click Continue, putting it on that button makes sense.

The Back button should thus be in the logical place in the tab order. Most likely in your example, that's after all the form fields and before the Continue button.

A tab order which is not logical -- one in which the user cannot predict what control will get focus next and thus how many tab presses are needed to get there -- doesn't help the user. If the user cannot predict it, he won't use it, and he'll just resort to mouse clicks to do the job.

-- Jim Drew
Seattle, WA

-----Original Message-----
>From: "Lise L. Hansen" <llh at resultmaker.com>
>
>At the bottom of a form we have a Back button to the left and a Continue
>button to the right.
>
>Where in the TAB order would you say that the Back button naturally
>belongs?
>
>And do you know of any standards for this?

7 Nov 2006 - 8:25pm
Helen Killingbeck
2005

On that point, logical tab order is extremely important for keyboard users.
For those using assistive technology (such as screenreaders), they can not
rely on a mouse to complete the task.

Helen

On 11/7/06, Jim Drew <cfmdesigns at earthlink.net> wrote:
>
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> To heck with what everybody else said about where the button itself should
> be placed. You wanted the spot in the tab order.
>
> A tab order which is not logical -- one in which the user cannot predict
> what control will get focus next and thus how many tab presses are needed to
> get there -- doesn't help the user. If the user cannot predict it, he won't
> use it, and he'll just resort to mouse clicks to do the job.
>
> -- Jim Drew
> Seattle, WA
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> >From: "Lise L. Hansen" <llh at resultmaker.com>
> >
> >At the bottom of a form we have a Back button to the left and a Continue
> >button to the right.
> >
> >Where in the TAB order would you say that the Back button naturally
> >belongs?
> >
> >And do you know of any standards for this?
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

Syndicate content Get the feed