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I have a multi-step process that a mobile user will repeat many times. They are familiar with the steps. As an example, imagine an app for a courier, where the tasks are:

  1. Use the app to accept an order and grab the item from the office
  2. Report on the app that you are on the way to destination
  3. Report on the app that you have dropped off the item
  4. Report on the app that you are back in the office and ready for another item

I am torn on whether or not I should display an overview of all the steps to the user, or if I can simply present the single task with no context to the user.

Here's an example mockup, first with no context and second with context represented by icons:

With no context

With context

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It's not necessary to display an overview of the steps as you have depicted. The mobile user has established context by first accessing the app, which establishes a general mindset within the user. Secondly, the user has to navigate or find their way to the screen or call to action that allows them to achieve a task (such as Reporting on Location).

In the scenario you have outlined, some crucial elements to communicate visually might include an intuitive mechanism to report my location (a map), some type of visual assurance that the chosen location was received by the app successfully, a way to edit my location, and perhaps an annotation mechanism to the 'report' (such as "I am at this traffic light because traffic is horrible. Be there soon.")

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