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I am implementing a stepper with Material-UI something that seems to be a local navigation system (different steps show complete detail views, tables with related entities, other views for related entities, long story short, to much information).

Judging by how I have to use the components from Material, and how other sites use steppers, my intuition tells me that something is wrong and we're probably misusing the component wrong, but I don't have anything more to backup or dismiss this idea.

The guidelines on how and when to use this stepper are very slim in the documentation, moreover, there is a note that the component is no longer documented in the Material Design's official guidelines. Not to much luck on googling it also.

So my question is, is this component obsolete from a UX perspective? Like, should be used only for contextual navigation, should describe a linear flow, when is it appropriate to use a non linear stepper? is it ok to use steppers when different users will fill in different steps? should have a max of x steps..

Are there any guidelines on this? Were there ever any?

Are there examples of the stepper component used in popular applications that confirm some use cases that are still relevant?

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    Hi Lala. Could you please provide more information on your specific project, and why you think the implementation might be wrong? Screen shots would be helpful. – Izquierdo Feb 9 at 16:51
  • All of your questions depend on context. Purpose of the application, what should be in stepper, and so on. – xul Feb 9 at 23:05
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So my question is, is this component obsolete from a UX perspective?

Not definitely. I find steppers quite useful to be applied a couple of times in almost all of the projects I contributed depending on the context. Because whenever I bring some other design solutions to the table, users or customers (not necessarily knowing and guessing the pain point or the design problem) willingly describe that they want the process handled step-by-step. I don't want to dig into the fundamental cause make specifically users to choose this as not to be being broader on the issue's itself but it's definitely not an obsolete component as well as you may see different named and kind of it's usage with the document on documentation link you provided above.

Like, should be used only for contextual navigation, should describe a linear flow, when is it appropriate to use a non linear stepper?

Besides sharing one of my prior answer to this question which reveal some points about your inquiries, I should admit it can be used or classified as contextual as I both ran into and experienced till now both as a designer and a developer.

Basically for steppers, being a linear or non-linear is just a matter of continuity like, if you want your users to start from a certain point and can only pass through following the steps, you should use linear one. And as opposite, if you want to let users to be able to take a look at any step anytime, then non-linear would be the choice to pick.

is it ok to use steppers when different users will fill in different steps?

No, generally this may depends on use cases or different paradigms can be applied to simulate in a differentiating manners. For instance, last app I work on was a central reservation system for an hotel and I used steppers to both display checkout part and when an hotel stuff entering their multi-step information (like facility's features including hundreds of checkboxes for room types) and you may prefer to take only simple user text inputs on a same step and some unnecessary (or less important, etc.) info at last step.

should have a max of x steps..

In fact, like not a strict rule but it's essential to be displayed only 6-8 lines in a single powerpoint presentation to get an effective attraction from a standart human metabolism to get a healthier results, I do the same principle and use mostly 4-5 steps as the screen allow me to do so. Otherwise putting 15 steps wouldn't seem optimal or wisely.

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