A complex form, split into 5 steps using the material design stepper, step 4 is optional. should this screen have a 'SKIP' button and a 'NEXT' button, or just a 'NEXT' button?

  • Could you screenshot stepper? Also what sort of field / system validation you have? It depends on those points also, as you can or should include multiple visual clues for that step.
    – xul
    Jun 25, 2019 at 19:43
  • It would be helpful to know which stepper you are using. There is a documentation on material page about Optional Steps. material.io/archive/guidelines/components/… Hope you must have already read this Jun 26, 2019 at 6:38
  • If it is optional, then yes having the 'Skip' button sounds helpful. Alternatively, if it is optional and the form is already too long that it needs to be divided into multiple steps, why not remove it altogether.
    – Ren
    Jun 26, 2019 at 8:03
  • It would really help if you can include an example of what you are using / planning to use, but if the NEXT button is bottom-right (where such things often are) then if you do have a SKIP button, it probably needs to go at the TOP of the page so users see it, and use it, before filling in the page-four elements automatically.
    – TripeHound
    Jul 26, 2019 at 14:20
  • Just a "next button". A form where the fields are not required doesn't have a skip button. If all are optional, the validation is passed, you can go next. You can add a message "The step is optional", but a button, I don't think is recommended. Jul 26, 2019 at 15:02

2 Answers 2


If a step is optional in the user journey, there must be affordance for the user. However, I usually find it annoying to see it being optional right at the end, after I've filled out the form. If you can inform the user upfront about the step being optional, it might help create a better experience. Here are a couple of options you can do:

  • Adding an 'Optional' tag in the step indicator
  • Adding a notification at the top of the dialogue

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If step 1 have to be completed before step 2, and step 3 before 4 etc... Then: I will start from disabling 'NEXT' in 1, 2, 3 and 5 step. Once user complete the task 'NEXT' is unable. When user get to step 4, the 'NEXT' should be active whole time. It inform user that he/she can jump to next even if the user didn't completed the step 4. You shouldn't leave 'NEXT' active for steps that have to be completed, it is confusing.

Do you want your users to be able to go back and forth in wizard even when steps aren't completed? Then usually it is solve by a disclaimer "this step is not required". Although then should be some default settings for all steps, because you allowing user to basically skip it all. (Like when you install a program.)

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