2. Wizards


A wizard is user interface which presents the user with a sequence of dialogue boxes that lead the user through a series of well-defined steps. Tasks that are complex, infrequently performed, or unfamiliar may be easier to perform using a wizard.



mail merge wizardExamples of wizards

You will come across many different wizards whilst using application software. Here are some examples:

- Word processing - mail merge wizard

- Database - create a new form or new report wizard

- Desktop Publishing - setting up a new brochure, choosing layout, colours and style

- Spreadsheets - chart wizard, function wizard


Characteristics of wizardschart wizard

- They take the user through the set-up process step-by-step

- They offer standard formats from which the user can choose

- The wizard may offer a number of options

- The resulting document/task is based on the answers to questions or choices made by the user during the set-up process

- They often offer previews of how the finished result might look

- They can speed up the process of producing a document or completing a task


Advantages of wizards Problems with wizards
Wizards assist users to easily set up or complete a task The number of options are often limited - can only choose from those available
They enable inexperienced people to complete tasks which might otherwise be difficult e.g. mail merge The wizard may offer you options that are not wanted/required
They enable inexperienced people to produce professional looking results e.g. the layout templates such as newsletters, brochures which are available in DTP packages The layout or format of the wizard may not be appropriate to the users' requirements
They offer a user-friendly, step-by-step approach for inexperienced users The end result may look similar to things produced by other users/companies
A corporate image or house style can be developed easily Wizards often lack scope for customisation by the user


challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you

Click on this link: Software Wizard