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There is a subpart of the user workflow in the product that I am designing that I am having trouble with.

The user is at a step where they have to fill-in patient data, in a modal window. Once they are done, there are three things they might want to do:

  • enter another patient's information
  • simply close
  • close and fast-forward to image acquisition

Here is the global workflow for this interaction :

General user workflow

In one use-case, they might want to enter as much data as they can in a single session, but without carrying on with the image acquisition. And so they would "save and add another" multiple time, then "save & close" :

data filling workflow

In the other use-case, if the patient is in front of the user, they would want to enter the necessary data, and then continue as fast as possible towards image acquisition.

fast workflow

What I want to avoid as much as possible is displaying too many buttons (already three possibilities + cancel the form). I also do not know which button should be displayed as primary. I don't want risking having the user lost on what they should do after filling the form.

Here is what I have so far : my gui

Here is an extreme example from another UI of what I want to avoid :

horrible example with too many buttons

It seems to be a problem for users (you find a lot of tutorials when googling for "save and add another") with no clear solution. I found related questions on UX stack exchange (here and there), but not relating to the specific question of having multiple things to do after saving.

In the end, my question would be : is there a way to improve the user workflow by using a better UI solution?

  • Is it important to make Save and other as one action? You could display only 2 buttons Save and Cancel. Then show other options on the next page. – An Lev Feb 13 at 14:00
  • Or make autosave like Google Docs – An Lev Feb 13 at 14:01
  • The thing is the data is more like a form than a document, and so "saving" works like "sending" a form, thus closing the pop-up window. – SThor Feb 13 at 14:37
  • I see. Maybe you need to reconsider the whole pop-up model if this window functionality becomes more complicated. – An Lev Feb 14 at 11:03
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    Absolutely. I am currently trying out other models. – SThor Feb 14 at 12:57
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I wouldn't overcomplicate the save functionality. It's a pattern that users are used to and have clear expectations of how it should work.

I would introduce an added step after saving, either as a lightbox/modal or as a standalone page that guides the user to the next steps.

See below:enter image description here

Hope this helps.

  • It does help, thanks. However, my form is already in a modal window. I should probably have mentioned that in the main post. How would this play with your proposed solutions ? Replace the form modal with a second one ? Keep the modal window itself but replace the content ? – SThor Feb 13 at 15:35
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    The second option would work in this case. You would have a page with next steps after you save/close the modal window with the form. I wouldn't suggest using forms in modals. here's a discussion about this: ux.stackexchange.com/questions/50226/… – Anton Mircea Feb 13 at 15:46
  • +1 for keeping the save action distinct. I know what save means instinctively. You are trying to solicit two actions (the save and the next screen) and you can bring clarity to both of those choices by breaking them up into two distinct steps, thereby reducing the cognitive overhead of completing each individually. – KyleMit Feb 14 at 16:45
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You can test a dropdown button, which treats all paths as equivalent choices.

I don't know your domain, but if you have complex workflows with many paths, and the requirements are to keep those paths / workflows accessible (and perhaps equivalent), one way is to narrow down the form creation at the save step.

Introduce a little friction to make decisions

With a dropdown button, users will have to select the menu first, which will display the choices. This way they have to read and select, which takes a moment, and purposefully introduces a little friction.

enter image description here

Test it with users

In this case, I'm slowing the user down to make the decision more purposeful, since it sounds like each path is valid, and there's no 'primary'. A dropdown also scales, since there are currently 3 paths, and if a fourth is added it can be placed in the menu.

Test with users and observe their time to completion against their error rate.

If you can pull data from use, you might be able to order the list in a meaningful fashion.

In the end, it may be that your current 3 button solution works fine, even if you don't consider it elegant or ideal.

  • Thanks a lot for this. I will indeed probably have to test multiple solutions with users. Thankfully, these solutions don't seem to have an impact elsewhere, and thus would be easy to swap out. – SThor Feb 13 at 15:36
  • hope it helps...this also avoids the double dialog issue, as I was unaware that this form is already a dialog box. – Mike M Feb 13 at 16:16

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