Read-Do versus Do-Confirm

There are two types of checklists: Read-Do and Do-Confirm. Read-Do checklists are like recipes where users read and complete each item before moving onto the next one on the list. In contrast, Do-Confirm checklists allow users more freedom to complete tasks from memory before consulting the list to ensure that they haven't forgotten anything.

Context is important when deciding which type of checklist to devise. So, think carefully about which type of checklist will least disrupt existing workflows while minimizing room for error.

Regardless of which type you choose, be sure to keep checklists as short as possible. If users feel compelled to find shortcuts, the checklist is failing and has become a bureaucratic encumbrance. Users need to believe that each item on the checklist is playing valuable role in helping them meet their desired goals.