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I mean something like:

< Back to Venue

I am working on a new site, and during my wireframing stage, I pondered whether I should include them or not. I know it makes a lot of sense for mobile websites, but I am talking about non-mobile websites where people have a back button.

Do you all use them or not?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 9 down vote accepted

It depends on context. In a shopping cart, I wouldn't use a 'continue shopping' link because really, what the hell does 'continue shopping' mean? Go back to the page I was at before this? Take me to the home page?

But if I were say, building a job board, I would include a 'back to listings' link at the bottom of an individual job post so the user didn't have to move their mouse to the top of their browser window to hit the back button, or scroll to the top to click the breadcrumb link.

Never assume your user has a back button on their mouse.

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Thanks for the note. I completely agree with you on the back mouse button. I think most people don't even have them and if they do have them I would say most don't use them. –  ATLChris Apr 22 '11 at 16:09
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I would mark this answer as accepted and ask a more specific question in the future, as it pertains to your particular project ;) –  Greg-J Apr 22 '11 at 16:10

Have you looked at breadcrumb trails or other visual ways to show the user where he or she is in the application?

For example (I'm guessing about what steps make sense as I don't have a lot of context on your application):

Home > Available Venues > Awesome Theater > Great Show

All of the above will be links, except the last one which indicates the current page the user is on. Often adding breadcrumbs will have the same effect as a back link, but with the added bonus of also providing useful context.

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I thought about a breadcrumb trail, but it just seemed like to much. I personally think breadcrumb trails should be left for Forums & e-Commerce sites. –  ATLChris Apr 22 '11 at 16:47

mobile users very oftenly use non-mobile sites, so the "back" buttons are useful

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We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

    
You could improve your answer by adding a credible reference for your claim on mobile user web browsing behavior. That way you could help others looking for an answer to this question. –  Benny Skogberg May 7 '13 at 9:57

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