2

it's usually bad practice including a reset button in your forms.

Some reasons for this are outlined in various other questions:

However, my form is a type of calculator where users have various input boxes and dropdown menus to choose from to influence the calculation (13 in total).

The user's choices are remembered and displayed in the form elements after submitting as users need to know what they entered to make sense of their calculation.

Users could possibly want to use it n times so as it remembers everything they would have to delete and re-enter their desired input each time.

Questions:

In this case, where the form is a calculator, does it make sense to include a reset button?

from a logical point of view, it sure does, but does it still go against UX best practices?

4

Yes, absolutely!

It's more important to design for the best user experience and efficacy than to follow design patterns. In the end, patterns just codify a set of heuristics/experiences/guidelines so they aren't a replacement or an override for proper, tailored design.

For the situation you're describing, it can make a LOT of sense to add a Clear button. If users are likely to do one or more of:

  • Fill in the fields halfway and decide they need to start over
  • Fill in the fields completely, look at them (or a result), and then maybe start over
  • etc.

...then it can make plenty of sense to have a Clear button. The size and prominence of that button will depend on the likely frequency and workflow stage of that button.

1

It would be helpful to have more context; What exactly is being calculated? In general, consider it bad UX if the user doesn't have the option to start a new calculation without having to reload the page.

On the other hand, maybe the user would like to compare different calculations, in which case having to clear the form could be bad UX.

As is with real calculators, there's often a C button to clear the calculation. Depending on placement, design and type of user, the user should be familiar with such a button.

Look for similar calculations (in your sector) and try to determine the most common usage reset-no reset button.

  • It's not a calculator in the mathematical sense, it simply calculates KWs based on a number of parameters, there is not yet a decent calculator of its kind so there's not much to compare it to. – C_B Jul 23 '15 at 9:10

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