Take the 2-minute tour ×
User Experience Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for user experience researchers and experts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Has anybody ever used "Clear All" button on the page? Maybe someone know the history of this "magic" UI component.

I opened my eyes after this answer.

share|improve this question
1  
Thanks for the reference :) –  Dan Barak Aug 16 '10 at 15:19

5 Answers 5

up vote 3 down vote accepted

<input type="reset"> was added in HTML 2.0, along with forms in general.

I don't know the reasoning at the time for having a reset button. It may have been meant as a primitive form of undo. I'm not sure to what extent user-agents (browsers), particularly text-based user-agents, supported the undo faculties that we take for granted in todays GUIs. Note that a reset button doesn't actually "clear" the fields; it resets them to their initial values.

Initially, I think people were mostly concerned with using HTML correctly and added reset buttons by default without thinking about it. Over time, the reset button seems to have fallen out of favor.

share|improve this answer
2  
I imagine one reason might have been to assure users they could remove the data they have entered (back then simply users might have wondered what happens if they just close the browser or navigate away) assuming it was somewhat sensitive... but it's just a wild guess. –  Dan Barak Aug 16 '10 at 15:24
    
@Dan Barak +1 "You have donwloaded this file from the Internet, so please, upload it back, because somebody needs it" :) (joke). –  igor Aug 16 '10 at 18:13

I've never used it, nor has any client ever asked me to. I do recall seeing them early on, like in the 90's.

I see no practical reason to include such functionality in a page, since the risk of losing data greatly outweighs any potential benefit.

share|improve this answer
    
Agree. Indeed, it has been a while since I saw them, but I did... I think it was some government site... –  Dan Barak Aug 16 '10 at 15:20

Almost all web forms used to have a submit and reset button.

You can still see old sites with them. Today you will be hard pressed to find a site with a reset button as they are useless and only mess things up.

share|improve this answer

Only place I can see a use is where operators are searching for records using sets of criteria over several fields that they want to vary a bit to get a record set back. Eventually getting to the point of clearing all of their criteria to start over again.

share|improve this answer
    
Although, infact, that may be done by explicitly resetting the specific fields. But I agree that this is the only place I would use reset form functionality –  Schroedingers Cat Jun 18 '12 at 7:54

Not worth the hassle. I've never had a client request a "clear all" button. Nor have I ever seen one used even when it was available. I wouldn't waste space or time with a reset button.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.