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I have a task wizard that requires the user to supply their log-in credentials in order for the object to work successfully.

There is debate whether we should prohibit the completion of the object creation if the user does not supply the log-in information during the creation process.

Should we allow the user the freedom to return to their object and edit the required login information? Or do we prohibit them from creating the object until their log-in credentials are supplied?

Option 1: - Object is created without credentials.

  • User will receive an error that the object is not usable. There will be a status for the object indicating that credentials are missing.
  • User must supply log-in credentials for the object to work successfully.

Option 2: - Object is created since credentials since this mandatory step; user cannot proceed to next steps without giving credentials.

  • Disadvantages: Log-in credentials are asked in the middle of the wizard steps since the proper log-in information is dependent on the previous user inputs. If the user does not have the correct credentials on hand, they must abandon the form fields they spent time filling in.
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Your question is a bit abstract so it's hard to answer specifically.

In general I like option 1. To me it's like asking if you should let a user save code if it doesn't compile. Of course it won't be complete/work until they fix the compilation error, but you still let them create/save it. Be upfront about requirements such as needing to register, or pay, etc. But also let them do steps in whatever order they find more convenient.

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Why would you want to force a user to choose between finishing something now - (s)he may not have the credentials ready - and having to re-enter everything they already entered just now when they do have everything?

So go for your option 1 but with information (not an error!) as to why the object is currently non-functional and how to address that. This information should remain readily available until the object is in a fully functional state.

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