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I'll try to start with some context. We run a workflow app called Tallyfy which is designed for people to build and run repeatable processes in a business, such as client onboarding, employee orientation, etc.

As part of building such processes, we want to enable steps in a process to have rules in the format "if this then that" which will turn a step on/off if a condition is met.

Let's say you have 10 steps of which the first 4 look like this:

  1. What's your name? [Text box]
  2. Are you male or female? [Drop down]
  3. [HIDDEN BY DEFAULT] If [male in 2] then show this step.
  4. [HIDDEN BY DEFAULT] If [female in 2] then show this step.

The issue seems to present itself as the following problems:

  • First - we have to represent steps that are hidden by default.
  • Second - we need to show how a default step is affected in terms of its' visibility by other steps. In the example above, picking an item on the dropdown in (2) would trigger either 3 or 4.
  • Third - if no nesting (sub-steps) are assumed, then secondary conditions also have to be shown up AFTER a trigger condition takes effect e.g. "You picked male in (2) - which reveals (3) but then the flow carries on as normal from step (5) all the way through to (8) when some other condition interrupts."

What is the best UX/UI to represent "if this then that" conditions without a flowchart? Since such processes can be arbitrarily complex and large, flowcharts would be very difficult to scale - especially on a mobile device.

As context that this is how Typeform implement conditional jumps, which are not precisely the same thing - but they're related. I often find the dual jumps like 7 jumps to 8 and/(or?) 10 (in the screenshot below) a little confusing.

Any thoughts appreciated!

Conditional jumps UI in Typeform

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  • "Are you male or female? [Drop down]" — Oh boy. Commented Oct 28, 2017 at 21:43
  • @sbichenko does that make the problem any less prolific? :) Commented Oct 29, 2017 at 22:03

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I assume that without a flowchart means no overall visual reference of the steps using boxes and arrows to indicate the paths that a person will traverse in the process?

You can see that in Typeform that steps are also labelled, and you can use a combination of numbers and letters to indicate steps and sub steps, such that you alternate between numbers and letters each time you create a branch. This way you can keep a consistent level or hierarchy without creating a complicated system.

For example, start with a linear or minimum path from 1->2->3, and a branch can be indicated on step one by 1A/1B->2->3. If in 1A there are two branches, then you can designate them as 1A.1 and 1A.2, and continue if you have more levels of hierarchy.

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