I have a web application that rates a person's performance: there are a number of questions regarding the person, where each question is a rating (poor to excellent) represented by radio buttons, and a text field for comments on that rating. The questions are broken across several pages since there are quite a few of them, so that the user doesn't have one giant vertical-scrolling page.
Every action during this rating process saves to the database: you click a radio button and it saves; enter comments, then it saves; navigate between the different pages of the questions, it saves then too.
The application uses toast messages for various notifications, including saving. Previously, we wanted users to know that every action was saving, so that they wouldn't worry about losing any of their work. So it was displaying a toast message every time the application performed a save. This proved to be very annoying because it was just constantly throwing toast messages at the user.
Recently, it was changed to only show the saving notifications when navigating between different pages of questions. This is a lot less invasive to the user. However, now new users will not necessarily know that every action saves their work, and that they will never lose any of it.
So I'm wondering what the optimal solution is to be as non-invasive, yet as informative as possible. Is either one of my "ends" preferred, or is there some "medium" amount of notifications that could be shown? Is there some other method that may work well (e.g., text instructions stating that every actions saves)?