OK – maybe not banned altogether, but something that you can opt into on your website – or not. Unfortunately, they are a browser feature, not directly attached to your website, but when we’re working on sites that feature a shopping cart, they can be a nightmare!
Imagine what happens when someone is part way through a transaction and then suddenly starts going into reverse by clicking the ‘back’ button. Some shopping carts can cope, others have a nervous breakdown – particularly when the customer than either tries to return to where they were and finds that their transaction has vanished. A few people persevere and start all over again; others just give up and go away.
So what do you do if you want to revisit a page and you’re part way through a shopping cart transaction? Sometimes to hold the control key and then click on the menu tab you want to look at is a good way to get at what you want. It simply opens a new tab with the same website, but the chosen page, so you can actually be in two places at once! Just don’t try and carry out the transaction in the new tab or you may end up paying twice.
A well designed website doesn’t need back buttons. The navigation should make it easy to get around without having to resort to tapping away at the back button. If you’re planning to revamp your website or about to create a new one please bear that in mind and don’t create confusion for your visitor that sends them running for the back button.