What is the Solution
Show a progress indicator (or progress bar/progress meter) to display a sequence of steps, highlight the current step and optionally the degree or percentage of completion of the flow. The progress indicator should begin as soon as the user starts a process.
The final step in the progress bar should reflect the last screen where the action is required (e.g., Complete Registration, Submit Order).
- Break down steps for users in a meaningful way. There doesn’t need to be a 1:1 step-to-screen correlation as long as it is clear the steps refer to actions rather than individual screens. For example: 'Sign in' may involve a sign in page and registration.
- Use short names for steps and use parallel construction. Action-oriented verbs are good, but use only if each step can be easily described this way.
- Ensure the progress bar is accurate and reliable in all use cases. No user should skip steps or encounter steps that are not reflected in the progress bar. Be sure to include sign in, if applicable. Create different progress bars for different use cases. Ensure the visual design of the progress bar cannot be mistaken for clickable navigation.