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This is my first question here so it`s nice to meet you !

I am working on a bigger desktop web application that handles events & I am having a difficult time trying to establish a wizard as I don`t know when to stop the wizard and carry on with other steps requested from the user.

So as you enter the app you can do the following steps:

-Enter event details ( name , location , image , event parts , tickets etc. ) These are basically inputs or yes or no questions. These inputs are quite a few ( 15 inputs or questions ).

-Create event parts ( start hours, gate , location if it differs from the primary etc. )

-Create/Customize event pages ( like speakers at a conference , buy tickets etc. )

-Create/Customize newsletters

and more ...

My issue is that all the steps above are connected to each other so for the user to really start using the app for it`s purpose he has to do quite a lot of things. ( You cannot create pages until all event info are filled, you cannot create email unless you have created the pages first etc. )

So I was thinking to have the "Enter event details" created as a wizard and then take the user to a dashboard where he sees the next steps that he has to take but as I still need to guide the user I`m not sure that this is the best approach. Yet making a huge wizard at the beginning is still not great as the user might not have all the info needed to finish the wizard. But letting the user roam around the app will confuse him as he cannot do steps in different order...

How should I handle this ?

TL:DR Webapp needs a lot of info and has a lot of configuration options and some configurations depends on others and don`t know how to approach this. Either by a big wizard or by steps ...

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This sounds to me like a big-ass web app in a WordPress-like administration style, where you can basically edit everything.

My advice with a simple-frontend solution: Remind the user from the beginning and over the entire course of the wizard the option to save the progress. So they can get back when logged in and continue where they finished. I hope that they can access all the fields later and change them if needed.

Another advice with bit more rework in frontend and view controller part: I understand the interconnectedness of the event domain objects and its properties, however, those steps could be living alone without being dependent on the step before.

What I mean is that user would create an event within a long form. For this, you need to identify critical event details and other ones could be filled once the project (event) is created in the project settings.

Confirming would create a project and redirect him to dashboard. The dashboard would present the option of the next logical step, which is setting up the event parts. You can communicate it like an option "Add event part". The user can choose the part they already have info for and fill.

I think your aim was to get all the info first and generate a website for the event. Users don't need to see the final stage of the website right away. It's OK to prepare web page/modules templates to choose from and show only modules that they provided details for (speakers, buy tickets). Other mandatory modules can show placeholder texts and warn them that they have to be filled once.

Summary: Your builder can work in a modular way. Showing only web page modules, that have details for. Let the users work in an iterative way, meaning separating steps into configuration pages and not depending on the other details to be filled at once.

Hopefully, it helped, let me know your thoughts.

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I reviewed onboarding patterns for a number of big SaaS platforms. Here are a few ideas you could use (on top of or instead of a wizard):

  • have dummy data in a newly created account, so the user can explore by themselves, in any order they want,

  • trigger tooltips / short presentation when the user visits a new page/feature for the first time,

  • have a getting started page with 3 or 4 guided tours the user can take to breakdown the long wizard (they can do it in any order thanks to the dummy data)

  • have a progression bar / checklist guiding and monitoring their progress throughout all the onboarding steps (sign up, completing profile, taking all the tours, create their first event, etc)

  • always have a "skip" button, some users don't like to be forced through a tutorial, and want to do things their own way.

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