The system is used for executing tests.
Each test has to go through a number of stages that include user interaction with the system, meaning that each step also has a dedicated screen.
We have in the system a wizard component that actually serves two purposes:
Provides an indication of the current status of the test - at any given time the test is under a single status.
Allows navigation between the various steps to view their contents. The user can click on a completed step to view information without changing the current test status - that is, only to watch. For example, the test can now be in Step 3 of 4 but the user may click Step 1 to see the information there - the test will still be in Step 3 but Step 1 will be active.
The dilemma: There is a potential for confusion between an active step and current test step indication, since the component is actually used both as a wizard and as a kind of tabs system.
Does anyone know of studies on using a wizard UI component to navigate in a way similar to tabs?
I assume that the distinction between the two states can also be made by effective use of visual design - does anyone know good examples of visual design of such a component?
Other thoughts? Alternatives?