Getting Back to Back: Alternate Behaviors for a Web Browser's Back Button

Saul Greenberg, Andy Cockburn


This paper concerns the ubiquitous Back button found in most Web browsers. First, we outline why Back is an effective method for revisiting WWW pages: a) It allows rapid return to very recently visited pages, which comprise the majority of pages a person wishes to return to; b) People can use it even with a naive model of the way it works; c) People usually keep it on permanent display because it is visually compact; and d) Back works via a simple 'click until the desired page is recognized' strategy. Second, we investigate the behavior of Back. The typical stack-based behavior underlying Back is problematic because some previously seen pages are not reachable through it. To get around this problem, we offer several alternate behaviors of the Back button, all based upon a recency model. The advantage of recency is that all previously seen pages are now available via Back. Because trade-offs exist, we present both problems and prospects of these different Back behaviors in various navigational situations.


Bibliography Navigation: Reference List; Author Index; Title Index; Keyword Index

Generated by sharef2html on 2011-04-15, 02:00:41.