I have a workflow in which users can choose to move their data through
processes, A, B, and C. Internally the states are actually a
sequence. So if the person selects C we first move the data through A
and then B.
I could present this as a radiobutton list, e.g.:
If the person selects Spindle, we secretly fold the data first, etc.
The sequence is hidden. But
sometimes the processes fail, so a user who selected Mutilate will
find that his data Folded properly but couldn't be Spindled. This
person finds himself looking at an error message generated by a
process he didn't consciously choose. Plus his data are now Folded.
Or I could make the sequence explicit by doing something like
checkboxes and not allowing the user to choose Spindle until Fold is
first checked. But probably 60-75% of users don't really care about
the sequence. They just want their data Mutilated and they object to
having to click three times to make what they see as one choice,
especially since they make this choice potentially dozens of times
during a workday.
Any advice on how to present something like this in the UI?