I'm on the Board of Directors for the Apollo Chorus of Chicago, and information technology is my portfolio. Under that aegis, I'm in the process of taking all of our donor and membership spreadsheets and stuffing them into a new Neon CRM setup.
So far, it's going well, and it's going to make the organization a lot more effective at managing membership, events, and donations.
That said, in the last 24 hours I've logged five bug reports, including one of the most frustrating user experience (UX) bugs possible: a broken back button. This UX failure is so well-known and so irritating that we were talking about it when I started developing Web apps in the late 1990s. Jakob Nielsen called it the #1 web design mistake...of 1999:
The Back button is the lifeline of the web user and the second-most-used navigation feature (after following hypertext links). Users happily know that they can try anything on the web and always be saved by a click or two on Back to return them to familiar territory.
Except, of course, for those sites that break Back by committing one of these design sins:
- opening a new browser window (see mistake #2)
- using an immediate redirect: every time the user clicks Back, the browser returns to a page that bounces the user forward to the undesired location
- prevents caching such that the Back navigation requires a fresh trip to the server; all hypertext navigation should be sub-second and this goes double for backtracking
Neon, however, has made some alternative design choices, and even has a FAQ explaining how they've broken the rules.
Seriously, guys. It's a good product, but wow, is that irritating.