Enable Recovery

Fundamentals of interface design

Don’t create dead ends. A dead end is a path in the UI that ends on a view without obvious actions or next steps.

Every action should be reversible. There should always be a way to navigate back or forward or to take another action.

In rare cases where none of these options are possible, use copy to tell the user what happened and provide guidance on what to do next.

UI patterns that enable recovery include:

  • Undo
  • Back
  • Retry, redo, recover
  • End on a main menu or start page

This is post is part of a series on the fundamentals of interface design.

The series summarizes technical knowledge and best practices that make it easier for humans to interact with software on screens.

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