Conversion Guru - Online Secrets to Success

Thursday, May 18, 2006

One of the Worst Inventions of all Times

Every once in a great while an invention will come along that is actually counter-productive and creates more work for humans compared to if it had never been invented. For some reason, it gets adopted on a large scale and is used by a variety of people without much thought given as to why they are using it. There is one specific invention I am referring to, and I don’t think I have seen a better example of something like this being used by so many people and on such a large scale that it became standard (luckily only for a short time). What is this invention I speak of? It is the “Reset” Button on a form.

How many times have you spent time filling out a form and then thought, “No, no, that is all wrong, I should clear it all and start over.” If you did need to change the information, you could simply overwrite it as you went back through the form and filled in the new information. But even if you did this, it would probably be a rare occurrence that you didn’t use at least some of the previous information. But the reason the “Reset” (or "Clear Form") button is so bad is because a lot of sites actually have the “Reset” button right next to the Submit button. In fact, Microsoft FrontPage actually has this as the default when a user adds a Form using the Wizard. Not only is it easy to accidentally hit the wrong button and erase everything, but many times the Submit and Reset buttons look alike. Fortunately, this is occurring less and less, but you will still see it periodically on really crappy (or old) sites. Don’t be one of them. If you think your site is the exception, let me know. I would like to see an example where a Reset button would be justified because I have not found one yet.

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