Undo (Reversible Actions)

Please use these links to move easily from one guideline to another.

Consistency Visiblity Match Minimalism Memory Feedback Flexibility
Error Messages Prevent Errors Closure Undo Language Control Help
Return to General Design Principles Index

Reversible actions mean that users should be allowed to recover from errors. The reversible actions can be at different levels, such as a single action, a subtask or a complete task and in multiple steps. Reversible actions also encourage exploratory learning and prevent serious errors.

Guidelines summary:

  • Provide navigational options [2] Usability.gov 7:1
  • Use a clickable ‘List of Contents’ on long pages [2] Usability.gov 7:3
  • Use site maps [2] Usability.gov 7:10
  • Breadcrumb navigation [2] Usability.gov 7:12
  • Support communications to change inaccurate normal ranges. [4] NIST7865 VI-A p.26
  • Support updating information that is initially inaccurate or unknown (e.g., last names, sex, weight). [4] NIST7865 VII-B p.27
  • When dynamically presenting information (such as status information, error messages or warnings), display the information in context and facilitate action where necessary by clearly providing associated controls [3] CUI (Design Guidance - Drug Administration) p.21
  • User must be able to easily return to high-level information after viewing detailed information [3] CUI (Design Guidance - Displaying Adverse Drug Reaction Risks) p.7
Please note:The content provided here are intended as guidelines (recommended, but not mandatory) for design and implementation, not as standards (mandatory, minimum requirements). 

References:

[1] Nielsen J. 113 design guidelines for homepage usability. 2001; Available from:www.nngroup.com/articles/113-design-guidelines-homepage-usability.

[2] U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. The Research-Based Web Design & Usability Guidelines, Enlarged/Expanded edition. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2006. Available from: https://www.usability.gov/.

[3] Microsoft. Microsoft Health Common User Interface design guidance. 2012; Available to download from:  https://archive.codeplex.com/?p=mscui. (Design Guidance - Find a Patient PDF).

[4] Lowry SZ, Quinn MT, Ramaiah M, Brick D, Patterson ES, Zhang J, et al. A human factors guide to enhance EHR usability of critical user interactions when supporting pediatric patient care. The National Institute of Standards and Technology; 2012.

SHARPC Logo