New feature discussion: Subprocesses

Hey all,

One of the most commonly requested features we get is the ability to handle processes that aren’t linear. This is often the case when a process “forks” (ie. a single application is used as an entry point for various types of requests), as well as when certain answers should trigger additional requirements. In response to this need, we’re working on developing a new feature called “Subprocesses.”

Here are the current working mockups for the feature. The idea is that in your template editor, you’re able to choose from the processes you’ve already created and mark them as required subprocesses of a parent process. They can be either always required, or conditionally required. If conditionally required, you’re able to set rules on existing form fields that trigger those requirements. Then, when that process is launched, required subprocesses appear on the lefthand side of the active process view, above the list of steps. From that panel, users can click on subprocesses to launch them, which would bring them to a modified version of the active process page with a banner at the top, indicating that the process is a subprocess, and offering a link back to the parent.

We’d love any and all thoughts / feedback on these mockups. The goal here is to create a feature that accommodates as many new use-cases as possible, so if there’s something missing that you’d like to see, or if you think something should be different from how it is here, please respond and let us know!

A few quick notes:

  • The actual data displayed in these mockups is completely arbitrary, and it’s entirely possible it doesn’t make sense. Please disregard! The mockups are all about the interface.
  • Certain areas of the interface have been blurred out. This is intentional, in order to highlight the changes that are being made, and eliminate unrelated distractions.
  • We’re still toying with the idea of including the ability to mark a subprocess as “optional.” If anyone has a use-case that would require an optional subprocess, please let me know. Otherwise, my inclination is to leave that element out of this iteration.

Thank you all!

I like the use of color in these subprocess mockups. Do you have a visualization for how an admin will set up a subprocess/ connect two processes together?

Yes, that’s what’s shown in the last screen.

Hey all! Thanks so much for making these mockups. My question is, how will you ensure that they click on the subprocess to complete it? After they complete subprocess, how will they be returned to the parent process? Ideally the user won’t even realize their leaving one process for another and then returning back again.

I wonder if it’s confusing to have the subprocesses tab listed above the steps of the parent process. If the parent is by definition the main process, I think people would expect subprocesses to show up beneath them?

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Is this also what would appear for simpler if-then conditional questions that maybe have one or two follow-up questions if you answered “yes” to a specific question? Would it be possible to make those simple if-then questions just an expansion of the main parent form?

Would it be an easier user interface if the subprocess was a lightbox that pops up if you provide an answer that triggers the additional questions?

At the very least we’ll deactivate the button to complete the process and show a message saying they have outstanding subprocesses. Or even better, if the subprocesses still need to be completed by the time the last step is reached, the Next Step button could literally just say, “Next: Complete X Subprocess”

This is a good thing to figure out before we start building though. Thanks for bringing it up!

Were you thinking beneath them as in in the navbar, and not the sidebar?