I caught this term at a UX workshop recently, and jotted it down. A couple of weeks later, I can't find a reference for it - and I'm wondering if I misheard (miswrote?).

"Phased obligation", as I understood it, was the process of "not asking too much at any one time".

e.g: On a donation form, this might take the process of letting the user pick their donation amount on the first screen, then their personal details on the second, and their CC data on the third.

Donate workflow from contribute.barackobama.com

Is this "phased obligation"? If not, what's the correct term?


3 Answers 3


Maybe you are looking for staged disclosure, a variant of progressive disclosure.


  • I think Sebastian got it right. Never encountered "Phased obligation" in the UX literature. Progressive disclosure is the closest term I know of. May 21, 2013 at 13:05

Though I am not sure about 'Phased Obligation'..;'Deferred Create' is also one of the interaction patterns which behaves like the shown example. It lets user shows required information at first, then after user selection rest of the information is shown. It is mostly used in transactional processing. Example, After selecting one of the payment modes (netbanking, Credit Card & Other); it shows available banks' options which user can select and go further.


I believe the term I heard was in fact Staged Obligation.

Referred to in this 2009 Ask Tog: http://www.asktog.com/columns/081Registration.html

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