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I'm working on a multi step process in an Android App and I wonder if there is good solution out there to enable the user to access all (3 maybe 4) steps without wasting too much screen estate.

My process is like this: enter image description here

In Step 2, the user is working on a long list of items, like a todo-list. Processed items move to the finished tab and can be reviewed an undone from there. Once the list is empty, it shows a button to move on to the next Step.

But the user may decide to move on without finishing the whole list and the user may want to revisit Step 1 from Step 3. I thought about a bottom navigation or some other additional navigation bar with access to all steps, but in Step 2 you than have Tabs and some similar looking element and if I also keep the standard android top bar there might be not enough room for the list.

I have 2 ideas: Adding a menu to access all steps. I hesitate using the three dots context menu icon here, because this interaction seems too important to me...

enter image description here

Or working on a custom top bar that shows all steps.

What do you think?

  • By Multi-step process, do you mean walk-through steps ? – Serag Alzentani Jun 2 '16 at 17:25
  • Can you clarify whether there are any business or process rules with regards to the linear approach the application may have or any portions of the sections or any section that may not be able to be skipped or returned to? – DarrylGodden Nov 29 '16 at 22:03
  • I see you use tabs, so display all the tabs at the top of the page. – Madalina Taina Feb 28 '17 at 5:25
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The header bar which shows the current step (Title "Step X" in your mock-ups) can have a representation of the previous and next steps. Maybe stacked frames which also indicate how many steps there are (done as well as upcoming). The top frame contains the number of the last and the next step. Like so:

[1]     Step 2      [3]]

would mean you're on the second step and there are two more. Click on either of the frames to go there. If there are several steps, you can use a dropdown similar to the one shown.

This presentation also lends itself to a nice animation: Clicking [3] will slide the 2 onto the stack of the left, while 3 moves into the middle.

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Without knowing much about the app and desired user tasks, I would leverage the multi-step process and bake it into the ui. Let it be the personality and character of the UX.

I agree that hiding the affordance is not a good approach. Make it as enjoyable and fun as you can!

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It would be nice to go back to your drawing board and come-up with set of activities and different variations of data flow. It does not make sense when you label the flow as STEP1..STEP2..STEP3.. then users are allowed to jump from any point and enter their data. Or you come up with dynamic sequence depending on the data.

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