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Progressive Disclosure

What is Progressive Disclosure?

Progressive disclosure is a design technique that involves revealing information or functionality gradually, allowing users to focus on essential elements and preventing overwhelming or cluttered interfaces. It helps simplify complex systems and guides users through tasks step by step.

Why is Progressive Disclosure important?

Progressive disclosure is important because it allows for the simplification of complex interfaces or systems, reducing cognitive overload and preventing users from feeling overwhelmed. By gradually revealing information or functionality based on user context and needs, progressive disclosure helps users focus on essential elements, guides them through tasks step by step, and improves the overall user experience. It enhances learnability, enables users to maintain control and autonomy, and accommodates scalability without sacrificing usability. This design technique promotes clarity, reduces distractions, and ensures that users can access additional information or options when they need them, ultimately leading to a more user-friendly and intuitive interface.

How to use Progressive Disclosure?

Key points about progressive disclosure include:

Simplicity and Clarity: Progressive disclosure reduces cognitive overload by presenting information or options in a clear and organized manner. It prevents overwhelming users with excessive choices or information upfront.

Gradual Revelation: Information or functionality is revealed progressively, based on user context, needs, or interaction. Users are presented with essential elements first, and additional details are disclosed as needed or upon user request.

Contextual Relevance: Progressive disclosure ensures that information or functionality is provided at the appropriate time and in the relevant context. Users are not bombarded with irrelevant or unnecessary details upfront.

User Control and Autonomy: Progressive disclosure allows users to control the depth and pace of their interaction. They can choose to explore further or access additional information when they need it.

Focused User Experience: By revealing information gradually, progressive disclosure keeps users focused on the immediate task or goal, reducing distractions and cognitive load.

Enhanced Learnability: Progressive disclosure facilitates a guided learning process, allowing users to grasp the system or interface incrementally. Users can build familiarity and confidence as they navigate through the interface.

Scalability and Flexibility: Progressive disclosure accommodates complex systems or interfaces by breaking them into manageable chunks. It enables scalability without compromising the usability or overwhelming users.

Examples of progressive disclosure include using expandable sections or accordions to hide secondary or less critical content, revealing additional options in dropdown menus or submenus, or providing tooltips or hints for more advanced features.

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About Akendi

Akendi is a human experience design firm, leveraging equal parts experience research and creative design excellence. We provide strategic insights and analysis about customer and user behaviour and combine this knowledge with inspired design. The results enable organizations to improve effectiveness, engage users and provide remarkable customer experiences to their audiences.