I'm checking options for a 1-2-3 stepped wizard.

One approach - 1 Add this 2 Now add this 3 Now finish with this

Second approach 1 Add this 2 Now add this 3 Now finish with this

(in the second approach I'm marking the beginning or the way for completion).

What do you think?

Any good reads about this?

  • "Add this?" What do you mean by add this?
    – UXerUIer
    Nov 9, 2015 at 16:59

3 Answers 3


First, answering your question, you should search for progress indicators on checkout processes. There you will most likely find what I also heavily researched the last months:

  • Color coding (positive color, thus no red) is a good way to highlight the current step
  • A friendly Google employee who was inhouse to give a small presentation about checkouts, lately gave me to think: It also apparently is very useful to highlight the "way to the next step" also in green, so it feels that users are already "half way there". Unfortunately, I do not have data on this, yet. But we're testing!

But overall: Yes. Highlighting brings focus, thus is a good lead.

Anyhow, I would put some focus on using a wizard mechanism at all. You might want to google pros and cons, as users seem to feel patronized by a tool they can hardly escape, as soon as it is not representing their actual work flow. The mobile gaming industry also has some nice examples of how to teach the user while he already is playing the game.

You should try to make sure that your wizard is helping and not annoying, which is not an easy task at all.


Highlighting your current step not only allow user to know where he is but also can reduces confusion about the relative form questions or relative info.

Highlighting term and showing corresponding icon in good color is a good way of showing.


Never ask the user to do something the system can do

If you provide a generic progress bar with no indication of current state, you're asking the user to interpret the current page and map it to your steps in their head. That's unnecessary cognitive load. That's never a good thing.

The only reason not to indicate progress is when the system is so poorly engineered that the progress bar doesn't know what state it's in. At that point, you should just start over.

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