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Navigation after posting a web form

Do you ever encounter situations in your web app where, after posting a web form, there are several valid options for what to show the user next?  And, although there is definitely one "natural" choice, there are others that are great navigational shortcuts (e.g. you just created an event, but you want to create another, so let's show the "add event" form again after creation instead of taking you back to the main page and having you click 'add' from there).


Would you keep it simple and just take the user back to the main page?  Although, this will add more user clicks in some cases, but definitely no confusion.

Or, would you allow the option for the user to dictate where they go next after creating an event? Although, this will add to the noise for every user of the form.  What if there are three navigational choices?  Could there be a way to do this gracefully?

Hope to hear your thoughts,
Derek I
Sunday, July 16, 2006
We recently hit this in dotProject...  when you're saving a task, quite often the natural thing to do is create another task.  Alternatively, you might just want to go back to where you were.

We solved this by adding a "save & new" next to the "save" button.  Simple addition but gives the user much more control.
KC Send private email
Monday, July 17, 2006
It's always a balancing act between simplicity and power.  Think about typical user workflow and provide the shortcuts for the frequently-used situations, as KC did.
Mike S Send private email
Monday, July 17, 2006
In practice, you'll find that there usually are only three or four options. Depending on the form layout itself, most people can handle choosing between the four.

Tip: put the default option first. The people in a hurry or don't care less, will click that. The people who are curious, will read on to see what the other options are.

Typically, I have, in a horizontal line...

Save, "Save and Add New" and Reset.

The fourth option, "cancel" is sorta implied - the user just clicks a hypertext link at the top of the page and the form is thrown away.
Monday, July 17, 2006
I much prefer the multiple commit-style buttons.  One to Save and New, one to just Save, etc.  It saves a click as well as potentially a full web round-trip or more which isn't necessary.
Cade Roux Send private email
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Plus it leaves no ambiguity in the user's mind as to what they will get after clicking the button.
Cade Roux Send private email
Thursday, July 20, 2006

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