I have come across many article, and i found this interesting. it said the best practice for completed process to fill form is 3-5 steps.

My problem is i have 7-8 steps to completed form and want to show it on progress tracker.

I have concern if user see there will be 7-8 steps (they see it on progress tracker bar) they will abandon it first place.

i am thinking making it half a half.

pro: there will only be 4 steps

cons: There is no title on progress bar (ex: half of bar 1 is personal details, the other half is Family related details). So it will be a problem if user wants to edit about family related details and he/she already on third step, he/she doesnt know which step they have to back and make them wondering while clicking back button.

any recommendation?

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  • 1
    8 steps is a lot, granted. But are you sure you need those 8 steps? I have never seen a form that requires 8 steps, and believe me that in 20 years I have seen all kind of forms. Maybe if you provide some info on those steps and your reasoning we may help you
    – Devin
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 5:14
  • my product owner didnt want that form to be that long in one screen, for personal details we have 18 fields, so i made this to be first step.half bar to show 9 fields the other half is 9 fields. the second step for two different information, one for current job the other one for income. the third step will be family related details(different address with user) and data their husband/wife. We need all those fields and step, it final desicion from our board. im just afraid the user will felt cheated for this half and half bar because they already click "next" but they still in that step :/
    – Vsn
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 6:40
  • what is the purpose of the form? is it government related? Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 7:52
  • yes its government related, but still i didnt want user abandoned this form
    – Vsn
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 8:46
  • Can you reduce the no.of steps by grouping the related categories in a single step?
    – NB4
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 10:18

4 Answers 4


Do not lie

Since you say the decision on the fields is final, then the best you can do is to present the fields and steps the way they are, without cheating or lying. If you have 7 steps, make sure your users see there will be 7 steps. You're noticing the IA issues yourself, then.... why would you provide an interface with issues to your users?

What you can (and should) do, is to explain what each step is for. Not only for IA purposes and user control, but also so the user understands why you need to ask for this information. Again: I never saw a 7 steps form before, and can't think of any possible need for this. And I bet none of your users saw anything like this before as well. So try to mitigate this by being informative and upfront. This way, you'll probably reduce form abandonment to some degree.

Additional Reeading

I recommend you take a look to Form Analytics: Measuring Field Abandonment. Kinda spammy, but some of the recommendations and tips are really spot on.

Another good read to avoid/mitigate abandonment is 37 Cart Abandonment Rate Statistics. While it's focused towards e-commerce, you'll see the main reason for abandonment after the e-commerce one is "too long / complicated" . Try to work around these tips and suggestions in order to improve your form


Congratulate the user when he/she completes a couple of steps. Positive reinforcement can go a long way in furthering your cause.


In order not to make them "feel cheated" , you can show them clearly that there are two main sections and each has 4 steps. So the title of the bar would be Section 1/2 and below this you can have 4 dots for each step, or bars, or whatever you need to indicate steps.

If you really don't want people to drop out of this process, then you should either revise the need of some forms or make some processes automatic: taking a photo of their IDs for example.


Progression of emotions based on number of workflow steps

Use this scientifically irrefutable chart to decide how long your workflow should be.

Time to consolidate

There is very little chance that you really need 7-8 steps.
It's more likely that you have an information architecture problem on your hands.

Take a step back and review all the data involved one more time.
Get it down to no more than 5 steps. Otherwise, your users probably will feel intimidated.

Work with stakeholders, subject matter experts, and real people.
How do people naturally organize things.
Try some card sort sessions with them.
Enlist the help of a skilled Info Architect.

Find a way to make sense out of this workflow. Once you have it down to a reasonable number of steps (3-5), then you can design the right workflow.

On a similar topic …
This answer on streamlining an ecomm checkout workflow might be helpful.

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