Okay, I seriously don’t understand what people have against the browser back button; especially large corporate sites, what did the back button ever do to you? Today I was looking at wireless plans. There was a huge list of plans so I started clicking on them to find out more, I click back, see the page for a split second only to be forwarded back to the page I have already finished reading. I look around the page and oh, there’s the tiny button that will take me back to the list of plans. Why would you invent new functionality that already exists and is very familiar to the user? Okay, maybe it’s for users who don’t know what the big backwards facing arrow at the top of their browser is for, but the vast majority of us do know how to use the back button and it is much faster than looking for a web graphic back button which could be anywhere on your page.
This is an extremely basic good usability practice. The best part about this one is you don’t even have to do anything to have this functionality. In fact you actually have to go out of your way to annoy your users. There are some instances where a form may need to break back functionality, but I see it in places where it isn’t necessary at all.