I am preparing a wizard for the account setup for the first time users of the application.

Since, it is account setup wizard, there are few actions that cannot be edited. However, the other actions are editable therefore we have provided Back button in all the screens except the last. Therefore the flow is -

Screen 1 - Next button only Screen 2 - Back and Next button Screen 3 - Back and Next button Screen 4 - Finish Button

Should I hide the back button in last screen or disable the Back button, given the action in screen 3 cannot be edited.

Please note that the steps cannot be interexchanged due to business logic.

  • 2
    A related thought...also warn the user on Screen 3 that they will not be able to come back to it. Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 14:43
  • 1
    I think there's a bit of a usage problem here if you can't step back from the end of stage three. To my mind, the "finish" button should execute all of the actions collected in the previous steps.
    – user93670
    Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 14:55
  • Can you explain the rationale why you cannot go back from Step 4 to Step 3?
    – SteveD
    Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 15:24
  • So in my understanding it is not technically possible for the user to go back at step 3? Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 16:15
  • 1
    @user26639 Without seeing your interface elements, the first thought that comes to mind is a simple text statement near the button that leads from screen 3 to screen 4. If it's really important pop up a confirmation message. Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 18:14

5 Answers 5


You should remove any buttons that are not available to the user.

A disabled state implies that there may be some action that will re-enable the button.

However, you need to make sure the user is fully aware when moving from pages with 'Back' buttons to pages with no 'Back' button - you could achieve this by changing the 'Next' button on the last editable screen to 'Save' and adding a note letting the user know that, once this button is clicked, they will no longer be able to make changes.


To set better expectations, the "back" button should not appear anymore at this step. Or if it appears, you'll have to explain why it's disabled (a ballon for example, explaining rationale, without going into gory details)

  • 1
    Adding to Matt's suggestion, I think disabling is a better approach then hiding it totally. Hiding kind of detaches final step from preceding steps of data collection. Alternatively, I think an exit "X" button could take its place, signifying a discard of data collected to the point(and a destructive operation)
    – Aftab
    Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 15:07

Also, something that misses on far too many wizards: make sure to include a "Cancel" button (not as eye-catchy as Next or Finish, but always giving a way for people to stop)

  • Sure, there is a skip button planned.
    – user26639
    Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 18:04

I'm really new to this, but I have done similar wizard with the Cancel/Exit button. If the user doesn't want to Finish the steps or get out of the wizard it is good to have cancel button in each step other than the 1st step. Cancel button take user to the First step, starting page.

Regarding the back button, I think user should be able to navigate back.


Press the team for a way to allow editing of step 3. This is a very abnormal circumstance for a wizard interface and will forevermore cause issues for your users. I've been doing usability research for 15 years.

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