Controllability (dialogue)

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A dialog is referred to as controllable (from the stubborn Low German "rudder") if the user is able to start the dialog and to influence its direction and speed. Interruptions should be possible and the resumption of the dialogue should, if possible, take place after an interruption at a point to be chosen by the user. At least the last step in the dialog should be reversible, provided the steps allow. If data changes are made, the original data should remain visible if the work task requires this.

Process processing

The user must be able to interrupt one process to work in another. It may only be held in a processing state in exceptional cases, for example if a certain input is required of it so that its desired action can be carried out at all. He must therefore know at all times which process he is currently in (for example due to a changed cursor) and how he can end it.

Controllability of a website

If the dialogue is also controllable for the visitor, he loses the fear of making mistakes and deals with the website much more relaxed than he would otherwise. All efforts to improve the controllability of a website are in vain if the visitor is not given the feeling of controllability.


There are many ways to give the visitor the feeling of controllability and to give him the opportunity to do so:

  • Ways to use or turn off media
  • Alternative navigation options
  • Ensuring that the back button works correctly
  • The homepage can be reached at any time
  • Abort options


  • No input field is deleted, replaced or otherwise made inaccessible to the user until the user confirms the completeness of the data entry, e.g. B. by pressing the ENTER key.
  • The dialog system moves the cursor to the next input field, but offers the user the option of selecting another field instead.
  • After an interruption (e.g. based on intermediate results), the user has the option of deciding whether the dialog should be continued from the point of interruption or whether some dialog steps should be withdrawn.


Website visitors are restricted in their freedom of action, because the website operator determines the number of implemented functions and navigation options. Its task, however, is to give the visitor the greatest possible freedom and self-determination on the website. This is achieved because the options offered match the expectations of the target group so well that there is no need for even more room for maneuver.