I’m working on a web application where users can generate results after answers questions in a workflow. Over time, they will use this workflow to generate additional, different results. Our goals for this workflow were to lower the barriers for entry (e.g. engage them right off the bat with what’s in their mental model of questions they need to answer) and don’t hold them up with unnecessary questions.
To this end, we auto-generate a name and auto-save their progress in the workflow via that name. We explored the web to find the best model for this and settled on mimicking Google Drive: new documents get auto-named, it allows you to work right away, and auto-saves along the way. The name is clickable and allows you to rename it at will.
However, our users are having trouble finding their results when returning later to the software because (1) while they understand that it was autosaved, they cannot find their result by name (they don’t recognize the “Untitled” name) and (2) they didn’t know they could click on the title to rename it. The mental model of Google Drive and our SaaS may not be as similar as we though.
Below is an example of our UI, where “Untitled Workflow” is seen at the top of every page and is editable inline (after clicking). We have some ideas to improve this (including any combination of these items):
- Option 1: Add a “pencil” icon to the right of the name
- Option 2: Add another “question” to the page where we ask for a name
- Option 3: Ask for a name before continuing, but perhaps in a different format from the questions to differentiate that it’s not a question that will affect your end result
- Option 4: Show a tooltip pointing to the name upon first load of the page to tell users about it (and give them a way to dismiss the reminder once they’ve learned)
- Option 5: When the user clicks “next” but hasn’t renamed their workflow, prompt them (via a pop up) to name it before continuing on).
I found this discussion of the autosave UI pattern useful, but slightly different than our need (ensuring things get named is more important than showing an item has been saved, but less important than getting a user through the flow painlessly).