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I have an 8-step wizard in my app and in the penultimate step, the user has to review all of the choices made in previous steps.

The user may only proceed to the final step of the wizard if the choices are confirmed. The final step is then showing a summary.

If the user is unsatisfied, the most natural continuation would be to start over with step 2 in order to adapt the selections. There is no real reason to go back just one step, so replacing the BACK button with START OVER would work, but I guess the inconsistency is not good for the user experience. However, adding an additional START OVER button to the navigation (as depicted) also feels clunky.

a) I wonder if a checkbox is indeed the best practice to prevent the user from accidentally rushing to the final step without a conscious review.

b) What is the best way to provide a shortcut to the second step in case the review unveils errors?

enter image description here

Edit: The wizard is used to configure an external device. Between step 6 and 7, the configuration is transmitted. Step 7 shows an overview of the configuration that is now present on the device. If it is ok, step 8 is an higher level overview summarizing the categories in which a change has been applied.

In case the user is not content with the configuration, it is not certain that the outstanding changes are those from step 2, it might as well be changes from step 3 or 4 or several. However, just going back one step would be useless, because this would only guide the user towards transmitting the flawed configuration to the device again.

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  • Can you clarify what is the difference between step 7 and the summary in step 8? From the description those two steps seem redundant. Is it very certain, that the second step is always the one the users return to? Not the 4th or 5th?
    – Gerda
    Jan 24 at 14:34
  • I edited the question. If the user wants to adapt the configuration, it is usually a good idea to start over with step 2. It is just step 6 (a single back) that is not very sensible
    – Aldinjo
    Jan 24 at 15:00
  • Step 7 and 8 are not absolutely redundant but it might be a consideration to merge them to one final step. But I guess that is out of focus for the question
    – Aldinjo
    Jan 24 at 15:04
  • Is this a long and tedious process until step 7 or is it done rather quickly? If the latter, then I would see it as no issue to only offer a start over button.
    – Big_Chair
    Jan 24 at 17:36
  • If the user spots an error in the configuration, he should be able to easily identify it and click NEXT on most (all but the erroneous) steps, so it is done rather quickly. So basically you also hint towards Gerdas solution of breaking the consistency rule and changing the BACK button to START OVER in this particular case, right?
    – Aldinjo
    Jan 25 at 9:07

2 Answers 2

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You are right, the general rule is: stay consistent. On the other had, rules are there to be broken ;-) if there is a very good reason. This sounds like a good reason to replace the back button with a "Start Over". To be sure, please test this! If users are really confused by this replacement, add a button to start over.

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I think "Start Over" button will be better than other options. The current position of StartOver button is really clumsy. My suggestion would be to add refresh icon at the top (one right of the title) to start over.

https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=Reload%20Icon&FORM=IQFRBA&id=9F871CE22B8EE0105619D5C052B217895AB2FC8B

enter image description here

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  • I don't think the icon alone would be enough. Looks more like refresh data in current page. The icon has to be accompanied by words, because this is a destructive/important action and can not be left to guesswork.
    – Big_Chair
    Jan 24 at 17:33
  • I disagree with Big_Chair in that the START OVER action is necessarily destructive: the way I had it in mind all the forms in previous steps would stay pre-filled with whatever the user chose. The summary in step 7 should allow the user to identify the part of the configuration that needs refinement. So if a start over action would be sensible in every step, making it available in the title bar would be a good way to go. However, in earlier steps, adapting the forms with BACK and NEXT is much more intuitive. Only at the end (step 7) after spotting an error during review, START OVER is needed
    – Aldinjo
    Jan 25 at 9:04
  • The refresh icon is a well established pattern. In this context the functionality would be different from expectation (which is, that the page is being refreshed). So I would use a different icon. Having said that, I do not think that an icon in the upper area is a good option if the other buttons for navigation are at the bottom.
    – Gerda
    Jan 25 at 9:59
  • Definately, we can use other icon option similar to refresh. It was just an idea. My point was to put it on top that it is not a usual option like <back and next> . It is an emergency option and needs to be place a little far from user reach for accidental usage. And "confirmation" is must from user to go ahead.
    – Moksh
    Jan 27 at 17:25

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