Context: I'm working on a four step form, each step has between 4 to 10 input elements of various types, from text fields to dropdowns and checkboxes. I've managed to keep it gradual and easy so the user wouldn't quit the service prematurely, feeling visually overwhelmed by the task.
Problem: It was recently required that in addition to the file upload field present in the first step, four other file upload fields should be included, all optional. They all allow the same type of files (pdf, png, jpeg) but each with different purposes in mind.
These documents will need to be digitized by the user, so I'm worried that this extra effort and visual noise will discourage many users to go past the first step.
What's the best way to simplify this process?