back to journal

Law of Progressive Disclosure | Carousel for User Engagement

Written By Zainab Aftab | Last Modified On June 27, 2024

Welcome to our enlightening blog, where we analyze the strong combination of the “Law of Progressive Disclosure” and the fascinating world of carousels, all in the pursuit of attaining exceptional user engagement! Progressive Disclosure is a design approach that encourages gradually releasing information, allowing users to discover stuff at their own pace. And what better way to put this notion into practice than with a dynamic carousel?

We will delve into the complexities of the Law of Progressive Disclosure in this blog, learning how it enables designers to develop seamless, intuitive interfaces. Furthermore, we will investigate carousels’ enormous potential as an engaging visual storytelling tool that attracts users’ attention and motivates them to interact with content in an exciting and immersive way.

What Is Progressive Disclosure in UX Design?

In UI/UX design, progressive disclosure refers to a strategy in which information and features are delivered to users gradually and selectively based on their demands and level of engagement. This design philosophy tries to avoid cognitive overload and streamline the user experience by initially displaying just important aspects and gradually revealing additional information or options through interaction or as users exhibit interest.

Designers can guide users through complicated interfaces through progressive disclosure, allowing them to access deeper layers of content or functionality as needed while keeping a clean and intuitive layout that improves user comprehension and satisfaction.

Categories of Progressive Disclosure

There are three main categories of progressive disclosure in UX design, each having its own purpose and unique benefits:

  • Conditional Progressive Disclosure
  • Contextual Progressive Disclosure
  • Step-By-Step Progressive Disclosure

1- Conditional

The process of disclosing extra information or options based on specified conditions or user actions is known as conditional progressive disclosure. The interface in this technique responds dynamically to user activities, displaying or hiding content as needed.

In a form, for example, new fields may appear only when particular options are selected, speeding the form-filling process and eliminating visual clutter. This category improves user engagement by delivering relevant information on demand, ensuring consumers get what they need when they need it.

2- Contextual

The goal of contextual progressive disclosure is to offer information or features that are contextually relevant to the user’s current task or location within the interface. It personalizes the content based on the user’s path, ensuring that the information provided is relevant to their objectives.

In an e-commerce app, product descriptions and associated recommendations can be dynamically modified based on the user’s search query or browsing history. This category provides a tailored and streamlined experience by providing visitors with information that is relevant to their current interests.

3- Step-By-Step

Progressive disclosure breaks down complex processes or tasks into manageable and sequential segments. It walks users through each level, providing clear directions and only displaying information that is relevant to the current step.

This method is frequently used in onboarding flows, in which users are directed through setup processes or tutorials one step at a time. This category simplifies interactions, lowers decision fatigue, and enhances user confidence by breaking down tasks, resulting in a smoother and more user-friendly experience.

Why Do You Need Progressive Disclosure in UX?

In UX, progressive disclosure is a critical design strategy that meets specific user needs while also improving the overall user experience in a variety of contexts. Let’s look at why progressive disclosure is so important in UX design:

  • Complex Tasks
  • Content Design
  • Onboarding
  • Contextual Help in UI

1- Complex Tasks

Progressive disclosure simplifies the user experience in interfaces that involve complex activities or workflows by breaking the process down into manageable steps. It lowers cognitive overload and keeps users from feeling overwhelmed by progressively presenting information and options as they progress through the job.

This method allows consumers to concentrate on one step at a time, making the total process more intuitive, efficient, and less daunting.

2- Content Design

Progressive disclosure enables designers to organize information effectively in interfaces with a lot of content. Designers may keep a clean and visually appealing interface by presenting vital content first and providing extra details when users express interest. This method allows users to easily access relevant information, fostering higher content comprehension and engagement.

3- Onboarding

Progressive disclosure is very useful during new user onboarding processes. It fosters a smooth and natural learning experience by guiding users through setup or introduction flows one step at a time. Users can gradually become acquainted with the interface’s capabilities, lowering the learning curve and enhancing user confidence in navigating the application.

4- Contextual Help in UI

Contextual help or assistance is critical in UI design to offer users the right information at the right time. Designers can use progressive disclosure to provide contextual assistance or tooltips when users interact with certain items. This technique allows users to get relevant aid without being overburdened with information, resulting in a more fluid and user-driven experience.

Applications for Law of Progressive Disclosure in UI

The Law of Progressive Disclosure finds various applications in UI design, empowering designers to create seamless and user-friendly interfaces. Some common applications include:

  • Accordions
  • Dropdown menus
  • Tabs
  • Scrolling
  • Dialog boxes & popups

1- Accordions

Accordions are collapsible containers that present content in a layered fashion, with only one segment visible at a time. Users can expand or collapse each area, gradually disclosing more information. This design style is good for showing content hierarchies or long materials in a compact fashion.

2- Dropdown Menus

By clicking or touching on a major menu item, users can access additional alternatives. This progressive approach keeps the interface tidy by displaying secondary options only when users ask for them. Dropdown menus are frequently used in navigation bars and context menus.

3- Tabs

Tabs divide content into distinct pieces, allowing users to switch between different categories or viewpoints. This strategy of progressive disclosure ensures that consumers can obtain relevant content without being overwhelmed by all portions at once. Tabs are very useful for dealing with mobile devices’ limited screen space.

4- Scrolling

Progressive disclosure via scrolling is a well-known approach in mobile apps and web pages. More content is gradually displayed as visitors scroll down. This method enables designers to provide a substantial quantity of information without jeopardizing the initial interface’s simplicity.

5- Dialog boxes & Popups

Popups and dialog boxes are used to display contextual information or to prompt users to take specified actions. These modal interfaces disclose extra details or requests, catching users’ attention and gently guiding them through the following stages.

Websites Using Progressive Disclosure Example

Let’s check out some examples of two most famous websites using progressive disclosure:

Amazon’s Mega Menus

Amazon, one of the world’s largest e-commerce platforms, efficiently employs progressive disclosure through its mega menus. Instead of overwhelming consumers with a long list of categories and subcategories right away, Amazon presents a streamlined and well-organized primary menu.

When users hover over a certain category, a mega menu appears, showing further subcategories and options relevant to the chosen category. This method allows consumers to navigate straight to certain products or sections, shortening the navigation process and delivering a more intuitive purchasing experience.

Pinterest’s Lazy Loading

Pinterest, a prominent visual discovery network, optimizes material loading on its infinite-scrolling interface with lazy loading, a type of progressive disclosure. Pinterest loads items sequentially as users scroll down the page, rather than fetching all photos and data at once.

As users scroll down the page, fresh content is gradually shown, giving a seamless and uninterrupted browsing experience. This approach improves page load times and reduces data usage, allowing users to explore new content without interruption.

Use Progressive Disclosure in Your Designs

The Law of Progressive Disclosure provides designers with a diverse collection of techniques for optimizing user experience in various UI elements. Designers may guarantee that users are empowered, engaged, and supported throughout their interactions with the interface by gradually revealing information and capabilities.

By incorporating this approach, designers can create user-centric interfaces that are more accessible, engaging, and supportive, fostering a positive user experience that aligns seamlessly with users’ needs and expectations.

FAQs

What is meant by progressive enabling?

Progressive enabling refers to a design approach where features or functionalities are gradually unlocked for users based on their actions, level of engagement, or completion of specific tasks. This approach aims to streamline the user experience, providing a sense of progression and empowerment while avoiding overwhelming users with unnecessary complexity upfront.

Is progressive disclosure used in mobile apps?

Yes, progressive disclosure is commonly used in mobile apps to enhance user experience. It helps simplify complex tasks, optimize content presentation, guide users during onboarding, and provide contextual help, creating more intuitive and engaging interfaces.