Do you use "Back" instead of "Previous" (or other variations)?

Last updated by Tiago Araújo [SSW] about 3 years ago.See history

According to Design Specifications and Guidelines - User Assistance, the commands for navigating through a wizard should be "< Back" and "Next >".

When your site needs a link to iterate backward through records we recommend that you use "< Back" instead of "< Previous".

There are a few reasons for this:

  1. This is the standard used in Microsoft Installation files. MSIs are the most widely used installation package available today.
  2. Internet Explorer and several other lesser-known browsers use a Back button to iterate back through webpages, so your visitors will automatically know what your "< Back" link does.
  3. It is important to keep consistency on your pages.

Below is an example of a Good "< Back" link versus some Bad variations.

Figure: This is Bad because it says "Previous" instead of "Back"

Figure: This is bad because it has too many "<"s or it has no space between the "<" and the "Back"

Figure: A Good example of a "< Back" link

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