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I am designing a iPhone app and the main function of the app is a 3 step process (steps most likely don't happen all at once (there could be a period of time between steps, unlike a signup flow). I am looking for examples in other apps that have steps like this and how they identify them.

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This main function: is it performed only once, or multiple times or multiple simultaneous times? Is it like placing an order for delivery, where the steps are (a) building (b) configuring (c) shipping? –  Erics Oct 6 '11 at 22:26
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closed as not constructive by JonW Mar 21 '12 at 9:27

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2 Answers

You could look at some games and specifically at their tutorials, which are typically broken into steps. Almost all include some kind of navigation to go back or ahead in the tutorial, and to escape it altogether. I've attached screenshots from 2 games I just looked at and they all do this in some way, maybe there's some inspiration there. For your case, I'd prefer the approach in Astronut as it uses conventions already in iOS.

For steps that occur across time, I'd recommend bringing people back to the place they left off at to help their recall, and show them what's changed in the intervening time, if anything.

iBomber Tutorial Astronut Tutorial

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A few things to keep in mind for your design:

  1. Because of the gap in time, progress and status will be important. Display these to the user as much as possible, maybe even constant.

  2. Let the user know what will be coming next

  3. Take the time to reward the user each step of the way. With time in between they need a reason not to leave or to return.

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