What functionality of the "Back"-button in a wizard UI is the best?

  1. Back button discards data from current page and navigates backwards.
  2. Back button keeps data (even if invalid) from current page and navigates backwards.
  • 1
    Is the data involves security concerns, like credit card information?
    – steve
    Oct 28 '14 at 8:48
  • Yeah, a bit more context would be helpful here. Otherwise the only answer would be the traditional 'it depends'.
    – JonW
    Oct 28 '14 at 9:27
  • You have asked 2 different questions; (i) What semantics should the back button in a wizard UI have? and (ii) What functionality of the “Back” button in a wizard UI is the best? — Which question do you want answered? Please either reword the title or the content to reflect the actual question you want to be answered.
    – DigiKev
    Oct 28 '14 at 9:50
  • @steve Well, the wizard might ask for personal information. So yes, security is a concern, in my opinion. However, is that really important in this case?
    – Arne
    Oct 28 '14 at 11:19
  • @Arne When I used to develop android apps, I used to think of using activities for secure information rather than using fragments, i.e. deleting the data as soon as the back button is pushed. Secure information should be treated as session information, which shouldn't be stored. Some times it is also a good idea to do so with the normal situation, e.g. they user might have filled information which requires correction and when user comes back the get a plain form and no need to delete existing stored wrong information.
    – steve
    Oct 28 '14 at 11:49

General answer is Back button shouldn't discard previously entered data. Holding the data avoids data entry duplication, if they returns back to this step. Data entry is quite painful activity for users.

Invalid data should be holded too (it provides recognition), still the system should verify critical data before switching to the next step.

  • Yes, going back shouldn't discard anything (as the user might just be reviewing what they entered), but everything should be validated before moving forward. Oct 28 '14 at 13:39

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