I am designing a multistep proces that nicely shows the user which step he is in. Between the second to last and the last step the user needs to click on a confirmation link send via e-mail.
My question is: should we display this last step in the "step 1, step 2, step 3,.." navigation/progress bar. In other words, should the user be redirected to the last step of the proces (being the confirmation of their e-mail verfication and thus succesful process) after their e-mail verification? Or shouldn't we make this last step part of the visual steps of the proces? Especially since many users will be directed from their e-mail to a new window while having the original still open it could be more clear to show this confirmation as a separate page without the multi step navigation.
Because there is no real way to control how many windows/tabs a user has open, I would not worry about it. Some user will close the window/tab when they are told to check there email while other will simple open another window/tab to continue with the workflow. On the confirmation page, I would suggest removing the the the confirmation page from the process/wizard and instead push the user right into the account/profile page. I would recommend though at least providing a message to the user at the first successful log in that the account creation / sign-up process is completed.
Something like the mockup below is what I would in-vision without fully know what you are building.
I would not show the email verification as part of the initial multi-step process.
I view the email verification as a necessary step between two separate processes. I think of it as such: [Process 1: Step 1 -> Step 2]. [Email Verification] [Process 2: Step 1 -> Step 2 -> etc.]
After they complete step 2 you can show a message letting the user know it's safe to close their tab and wait for the email, otherwise we don't really care if they leave it open (right?). And as Jeff suggested, once they click on the verification link you can take them directly to the first step of the next process.