Usable reloads

Posted Wednesday, July 20, 2005

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When changing a page style or language, many websites redirect to the index. In my opinion, this is bad practice, and here is why and how to avoid this.

Redirecting to the index or to a dedicated ressource might make sense in some cases, but in many others it is best not to disturb users with unnecessary redirects.
For instance, users landing on a page following a websearch link have no idea what the site structure is because the search link takes them directly to where the information is. Should there be a translated version of the page, or simply another style, users should be able to apply either onto the page they are currently viewing without having to navigate back to where they were.

A simple way to know where users come from is to rely on PHP's $HTTP_REFERER variable, which holds the page from which the request was issued.
A List Apart has a short article explaining how to make a simple style switcher using this technique.

Comments disabled because of spammers.

comment #1 On 20/07, Fetard wrote :

Simple to use!

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