Web forms should be designed to minimize data loss. Let me explain two scenarios in the past 24 hours:
- I spent a while getting the wording just right on my Craigslist post. I found one minor thing to fix, so I clicked back. But stupid, stupid Craigslist dynamically generates the names of the forms (probably to combat spam), which meant that none of the data showed up when I clicked back, since, as far as Firefox was concerned, it was a brand new form. So I had to rewrite it from scratch. Grrr! This is a really bad design idea.
- I spent even longer crafting a reply to an e-mail in OWA. I finally got it just right and clicked “Send.” And got the login screen. It seems that, even though I was actively working on the e-mail, I timed out due to inactivity. Of course, the e-mail I wrote wasn’t sent, and wasn’t even saved as a draft. It’s just gone. To me, this is a major bug.
I can’t do much about Craigslist, but it’s a “Fool me once…” thing with OWA. I think this was the third time I’ve lost an e-mail I spent a long time working on due to the inactivity bug. So I think I’m just going to start forwarding my school mail to GMail.