Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Browser back button vs RIA

Very often we hear, that RIA applications break the conventions that the users are accustomed to in the browser, especially the use of the back and forward button.
I wonder if people really expect that though. Aren't RIAs more like real applications than a webpage? When was the last time you missed the back button in Adobe Photoshop, MS Word or some similar app?

Also, when it comes to implementation, there are some really hairy situations. Say you have a screen with a form, the user fills in a few things and presses the back button. Your common policy is to display a alert asking the user, if she really wants to navigate away. Now imagine the user says no, what does that do to your history? The history thinks, you have been going back, while in fact you stayed on the same page.
Allthough, now that i think about it, probably i can forward the history to undo the back button action. Need to test that. Thanks for listening :)

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