Back Button on Web Pages

While most Web designers typically leave out the Back Button when they are creating their pages, it is one of the most important of the Web buttons that should appear on any given Web page. It is not unusual at all to see buttons labeled "back to start" or "back to home" links added to the pages that are being created. Many will just show "back" links. The bad thing is that a lot of these Back Buttons are simply shams. They do not really lead anywhere. That is why the links must have logic built into them that knows just where the viewer was prior to clicking. Otherwise it is simply a guess at the path taken to get to your site.
web back button
web back button

Browsing the Web

The majority of viewers on the Internet will visit a Web page and scan it to see if it is where they meant to go. If there is nothing there that they need or want to read about, they take their leave. The fastest way to escape any Web site is through the Back Button.

Actually, using that Back Button is automatic to most people. They browse a web site while hovering their mouse over the scroll bar so they can scroll up the page if they need to. Unless they find something interesting, the mouse is moved to the upper left side of the browser to connect with the Back Button. This will take them to the page they were on in the beginning.

How Web Designers Turn this into a Negative
Web page designers do not want their viewers to leave and they feel that by not giving them a Back Button to use that they are removing that option. They could not be more wrong. When they do things like putting their sites in windows that exclude Back Buttons, they are only making the viewers annoyed. Viewers do not like having the option to leave a site removed from them and when that happens, they will never return to your site once they figure out how to get out of it. They will also spread the word to their friends not to go to your site because they, too, will get "stuck." Therefore, it is important that you do not take the Back Button away from your viewers. They WILL find a way to leave, and they will never return.

How to Make the Back Button Work for You
It is never necessary to tell people on your Web page to click the Back Button on their browser to return to their previous page. Everyone knows how to do that and it will only seem like you think they are not intelligent enough to know what a Back Button does. Instead, plan for your viewers to use the Back Button. Some ways to do this include:
  • Use the Back Button to get attention. By putting your brand by the Back Button people will still notice it when they use it to leave your page.
  • Make anything in that area clickable. Of course, your logo should be clickable but there are other text elements located in the upper left part of the page that should also be clickable. This is done so if the viewer happens to miss the Back Button, they may accidently click something else located nearby that will take them somewhere else on your site.
  • Use server logs to track how your viewers reached your page. If you can find out where they are going back to, you can use that to your advantage by addressing it on your page. You may even use dynamic elements that only show up when they come in from a particular location. A good example of this is a visitor coming to your page from a search engine. They might not understand the best ways to look around your site. However, if you include information on how to search your pages when arriving from a search engine, the visitors may be persuaded to stay a little longer.

Now that you see just how handy and useful the Back Button can be, even on your Web site, it just makes sense to work one into the completed miami web design of the Web pages.