Locator Element: Step by Step Train

Last Updated 19-Nov-2003

General Description

The "Locator Element: Step by Step Train" indicates the location of the current page within a linear process. The Train can be either interactive or non-interactive, depending on the number of steps in the process, and other application requirements. A linear process may be imbedded in an application with other task flows, or it may be the only flow of the application.

Guideline Attributes

Spec Version # - 3.1
Spec Contributors - Betsy Beier, Mervyn Dennehy, Lisa Serface, Craig Louis
UI Models - eCommerce, CRM, Step by Step
Example Products - HR Promotions, ssPurchasing, Oracle Sales Online
Related Guidelines - Locator Element: Record and Page Navigation, Locator Element: Breadcrumbs, Separator Line, Step by Step (3+) Page Templates, Step by Step Page Flows, 2-Step Process / 2-Page Object Template, Object Templates, Intra-Application Navigation

Interaction and Usage Specifications

General Principles

Generic Train with Separator Line
image of locator train.

Example of Simple Train - HR Employment Event Module
image of locator train.

Subtrain (Train Within Train Subprocess ) Indicators
image of locator train subtrain indicator

Train Branching, Drill Down, and Skipping Steps

Generic Train with Disabled Stops on a Drill-Down Page
Train with all stops disabled except for the active stop

Generic Train with Skipped Steps Disabled
Train with skipped steps disabled

Train Interaction

Generic Train with Interaction Links
Train with interaction links on visited steps and the next step

Extended Trains

Example of 11-Step Process

A. Advance through the train to step 4 -- step 5 features a link, but step 6 does not.
B. Advance to step 5. Step 6 now has a link.
C. Advance to step 6. The train now shows a "Previous" link, and steps 5 through 10, with active step 6 as the second "stop".
D. Advance to step 7. The train continues to show steps 5 through 10, but moves the active step to the third stop.
E. Advance to step 8. Step 9 now has a link.
F. Advance to step 9. Step 10 now has a link.
G. Advance to step 10. The train now shows steps 9 through 11, with active step 10 as the second "stop".
H. If the user returns to step 9, the train displays steps 5 through 10, with active step 9 as the second last "stop". All other stops have visited links, and "More" also has an active link to enable a jump forward to the third set (which still contains an unvisited step).
I. If the user clicks Previous while stop 9 is active, the train jumps back to show steps 1 through 6, with step 5 now active. All other stops have visited links, and "More" also has a visited link to enable a jump forward to the second set (containing stops which have all been visited).

Note: In an extended train, "More" only becomes a link when jumping back. The link only shows as visited when every step in the subsequent set has already been visited.

Train Within Train

Some linear tasks require linear "subprocess" steps. For example, when entering content of a business card into a contact list, the user is required to create a new customer (the main process) and a contact for that customer (subprocess). In these cases, a train within a train should be used to indicate the subprocess.

When using a train within a train:

  • The inner subprocess train contains only the subprocess steps, not full process steps from the main task.
  • Additional icon decoration is added to the right and left of the subprocess train steps component to indicate that it is a subprocess.
  • Main process gif is not clickable because this interaction compromises the save model.
  • Subtrain (Train Within Train Subprocess ) Indicators
    image of locator train subtrain indicator

    Refer to these BLAF Guidelines for more information on process within process:

    Visual Specifications

    Visual Principles of the Train

    Placement of Train Compared with other Components
    The train is placed in a specific vertical location on the page as compared with other components. See Component Order guideline for complete list of the vertical order of the components.

    Example of Train within a Step by Step Page Template
    For page template examples using the train component, see Step by Step (3+) Page Templates.

    Open/Closed Issues