I’m working on a mobile website whose main feature will be searching for places to rent for holidays.
Here is the basic user journey:
- Homepage : search criteria are typed in a form (dates, location, number of people)
- The form is submitted
- The search results page loads
On the search results page there is a button which allows to edit my search query (for example to change the dates or add a person).
If I hit it I should go back to the homepage, with the form pre-filled with my current search criteria (so I don’t have to type everything again).
My question is: in order to go back to the homepage and still see my current criteria, do I need to store these criteria in a cookie or would a back button behaviour work?
On my iPhone I know that when going back to the previous page the form is still filled with my data, however I don’t know if that’s the same on all smartphones.
I hope this is clear, thanks in advance for your replies.
It’s not really a smartphone issue, but more to do with how your pages are set up. Usually hitting the back button you can see the page as you left it, but it would be nicer not to send the user backwards like that. It’s more common to create a “sticky form”, where the form values that the user typed are “remembered” by the server-side language (like PHP) and kept in place in the form even on the results page.
Thanks ralph.m for your reply.
I’m not sure what you mean by “more to do with how your pages are set up”. What would make the back button not display the page as it was?
I agree with you, a sticky form might be a better option but I’m stuck with this user journey.
What would you do? Would you rely on the back link behaviour or store the data on the server, which might reloading the page hence taking more time?
Neither. The use has already submitted the page, so no need for it to be done again. With PHP (or any other language) you can set it up so that the form appears on the results page also, populated with the choices the user made initially, so that the user doesn’t have to retype any info that was correct, and doesn’t have to go to another page to refill the form. I think that’s the nicest option.