I designed a web form using a wizard approach and my product owner liked it. Unfortunately, they now want to use the wizard for everything. Our next screens have over 15 steps and each step is pretty complex in the rules involved, showing and hiding fields, conditional logic and ability to add additional information using buttons. Should i be using a drill down approach and simple web forms and link the pages in a hierarchical navigation pattern or should i use the wizard?

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I think we need more information because it sounds like you always have to retrieve the same information from a form. Therefore, how you get that information (and what information you need) is more important than the UI. However, if you need the same information in both cases, a wizard or stepper is obviously a good option since wizards simplify processes for users (hence the word "wizard").

Now, regarding the presentation of the design, it's not so important that you present all possible combinations. As long as you present the components of UI and some examples, everything will be managed at the code level. However, unless someone else is responsible for this part, you'll need to create the entire information architecture.

The image below belongs to a really complex wizard with more than 600 possible screens (I cropped it for space and privacy reasons, of course). As you might imagine, we didn't build 600+ screens. But we'd to create this flow to develop the algorithm for the wizard.

enter image description here

  • Its more like taking a 15 -30 page paper form and translating it into a web form using a wizard or a web forms approach. The user wants to be able to navigate out of the wizard, then come back to the same place, or use popups, complex tables, tabs and collapsible panels in the wizard. Some of the steps in the wizard seem like their own web form that are about 3-4 pages long. I'm not sure a wizard is serving us much because of the complexity of these forms, validations, ability to display data in a user friendly fashion to the user.
    – sam
    Commented Sep 13, 2022 at 23:47
  • In that case we'd need more information to help you, but I think you should explain why what they want to do is a nogo. maybe try doing something like my example, then showing them how people will leave the user journey at certain points. Just mention the word "abandon" and they'll be all ears
    – Devin
    Commented Sep 15, 2022 at 14:33

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