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OK--you've filled out a form and submitted your form data. Let's say the form is a service you're adding to a case for a customer. You are a customer service rep, and you took a call from a customer, and they asked you to tell them about certain benefits. So you add a 'benefits inquiry' service to the case regarding the phone call.

As the CSR, you've filled out the benefits inquiry service form, and clicked save. Where do you want to go? Do you want to see your saved form data on screen? Or do you want to return to the profile page for the Case--seeing the service you just added as one of the services attached to the case (i.e. summary of service data in a table/list view).

What's the preferred destination after filling out a form in this situation?

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1 Answer 1

The user should go to wherever they’re going to do work next in the normative task flow.

  • If they’re going to continue editing the saved form, then leave them on the form. This is the primary window model of save, such as you see in windows for editing documents. It would be typical if the form were especially long and complicated, and users typically save their work-so-far as they go through it. That seems unlikely in your example.

  • If they need to work on or the parent object to those objects created and edited by the form, then take them to that. This is the dialog box model of save. In your example, if after adding a service, the user needs to enter customer follow-up information for the case, then take them to the Case Profile page.

  • If they typically create another object with the same form, then clear the form for the new entry. This is a "Save and Add New" model. This would be typical if users usually add multiple services to the case, such as if documenting the case is something done between calls.

  • If the user needs to work on something else, take them somewhere else. For example, if the user needs to now explain the benefits to the customer, then take them to the benefits page they looked up, or take them to the query page to find the benefits using data entered in the Service Page. I call this "Save and Proceed."

You should provide some sort of feedback that the Service was saved, but it doesn’t have to be seeing the service either in the original form or the Case Profile. Unless you have a pathetically unreliable system, the feedback can a very subtle modeless signal. How much feedback does a word processer give that a document was successfully saved?

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Awesome...so They don't need to do 'save and add another'. Most of the forms are short enough to not need checkpoint save. The tricky part is that they can perform additional actions to a service once they save it. They can add files to it, eFax it, add contact information, add a trip itinerary. OR they may just be done, in which case they're probably taking another phone call...i.e. new case. –  Mike Earley Nov 16 '11 at 19:03
    
Additional actions maybe should be done in the Service window before the user clicks Save, especially if they’re actions to the Service rather than to the Case. If the system requires a saved Service before doing an action, then save it when the user initiates the action (e.g., clicks the eFax button). The user probably doesn’t need to know the Service was saved or that the Cancel now actually deletes the service. This way the Save button always take the user to same place (e.g., a new Case window). –  Michael Zuschlag Nov 17 '11 at 15:22
    
Thanks again! I'm swimming upstream, I recently joined a great company, and they have great products but the usability is low, they've never really employed a designer who had any usability sense. And it's difficult to impact products that are already built :) Collecting opinions helps me to get the collaboration I need. –  Mike Earley Nov 21 '11 at 14:19
    
You should also think about the cost of the alternative. If the user stays on the form, how much does it cost to go back to the parent? If the user goes back to the parent automatically, how much does it cost to go back to the item? –  Vincent Robert Feb 28 '12 at 9:12

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