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I've seen feedback/confirmation on a separate screen for example when the user has submitted a form. Then the next screen they see: "congratulations you have successfully..."

Then on other occasions for example the user makes updates to existing personal details then presses "Save" they receive in-page feedback "your details have successfully changed".

When do you use a separate page to provide feedback and when do you use in-page feedback?

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In the cases you listed it sounds quite reasonable in the latter case that the user may want to review the details that was successfully changed, and therefore the page remains. An interesting question nonetheless. –  AndroidHustle Oct 29 '12 at 13:59

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I have tried to put together a very broad set of guidelines. Obviously you should look at each situation individually.

Feedback should be on the same page when:

  • The user requires the original information to understand the feedback.
  • The user needs to make ammends to the original information
  • The user needs to compare feedback to the original

Feedback should be on a different screen when:

  • It is at the end of a process (such as submitting a form).
  • If the the user cannot make any changes
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+1 for a good list –  greenforest Oct 29 '12 at 15:07
    
It is also important to communicate to the user what will happen beforehand. This can be as simple as using a "Save" button for same page feedback and "Submit" button for different page feedback. –  sglantz Oct 30 '12 at 17:11

If the next action the user will take is in the same screen (for example, save, then type more into a document, or try to submit a form, notice errors, and correct them), it makes sense to eliminate the "return to previous screen" action from the chain of events by keeping them on the same screen. If the user can no longer perform actions on that screen (for example, submitting a form successfully means there's no more reason to edit it), leaving them on that screen can cause confusion (for example, submitting orders multiple times).

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I always use separate pages for each step.

I try to make every step of the process as atomic as possible without creating too many steps, so for instance, you fill the form, click send, do the server checks and if everything is ok, the go to a page that acknowledges what you did and offer navigation and may be other related options, but still not much.

The idea is that each step should be unique, simple and unambiguous.

Also, all the real validations and actions happen on the server, so I can't give real feedback until I have processed that information.

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