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I was wondering if there was a UX principle that was being broken in the following situation and what the principle or heuristic might be so that I could conduct more research on the topic; A task is being conducted by a user, and after a few clicks into the task the system requires the user to login. After successful login, the user is then taken to a different page, no longer in the task they were performing, with no clear navigation back to the task.

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Not so much of a principle, but it would fail a Task Analysis since it removed the user from achieving their goal.

Taskflow Analysis - https://methods.18f.gov/decide/task-flow-analysis/#:~:text=A%20step%2Dby%2Dstep%20analysis,in%20pursuit%20of%20their%20goal.

Additionally, a somewhat related principle is that of Reciprocity, dicussed here - https://www.nngroup.com/articles/login-walls/

once you’ve helped users smoothly complete their transaction, they may be grateful for a pleasant experience and willing to create an account.

and Interaction Cost, discusssed here - https://www.nngroup.com/articles/interaction-cost-definition/

the sum of efforts — mental and physical — that the users must deploy in interacting with a site in order to reach their goals.

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A quote that is seen a lot is:

“If we want users to like our software, we should design it to behave like a likeable person: respectful, generous and helpful.”

— Alan Cooper, Software Designer and Programmer

The flow described is not helpful and even a bit disrespectful to the user.

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