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We are Redesigning an Enterprise Application (Desktop Web App) where the User needs to Create Configuration (for Video Streams (Live), Storage, On-Demand Streams, etc.,). These configurations require the User to provide various inputs like Ingest Server details, Type of Encoding, Security settings of Streams and more. So, this is demanding a wizard with around 7-8 Steps. Is it fine to have more than 5 steps in a Wizard? I am having a strong opposition from the product team here saying that having more than 5 steps would be difficult to the User. Could you please lead me to any studies on this? IMO, it should be fine for a Enterprise App to have 7-8 Steps Wizard, because Users of these Apps would usually be power Users. And they understand that they are Creating complex Configurations.

  • One quibble: the point of a "wizard" (typically) is to walk naive users through a complex task. A "power user" is exactly the type of person who doesn't need a wizard, preferring something that prioritizes efficiency over learnability. – mga226 Feb 8 '16 at 19:34
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I would disagree with your product team. Wizards are created just for that to give orientation to the users where they are in the process (especially if its a long task). However, having more steps in a process doesn't gives you necessarily worse performance than having just one or 3 steps, it depends on a lot of variables. You should strive to divide the steps based on type of information, like security questions, server access information, etc.

Of course your best guess is to make one version with 7-8 steps, and one with 4-5 steps and make 5 user test on each version. This way you will learn the advantages and disadvantages of each variant, and will best decide how to design it.

Here we can give you just recommendations, but they may not be true for your case. The best thing you can do is user test because every interface is different with different users using it and so on.

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I have to say, I agree with your product team. Although there is no rule that states that you must not exceed the number of steps required for a wizard. Ideally you should strive to keep the number of steps to its minimum (short and concise). This is to prevent user from dropping off half way when they are going through your wizard. Or worst going back and forth to verify their settings. Having that many steps also mean that you have to include a "Save" button in each page to save their configuration.

Have a chat with your product team on your IA again. Since wizard are usually meant for "one" time setup, you could perhaps push some of these configuration settings to the on boarding process (when they first access the app).

Power users or not, good usability should be universal and should accommodate a diversity of user, theirs needs and under any circumstances.

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