Make it easy on your users with Layering Input

One of the techniques used at RetireWithLess is called layering input.  Google does this with its search engine.  You start with a simple search phrase and once you see those results you can click on the menu to limit your search to just images as an example.  You then can limit it further by asking to see only the “png” files.  Hence, the idea of layering input.  You want to allow the least amount of input from the user in order to get something of value.  At RetireWithLess, we use this principle by allowing you to start with four fields to get about an 80% retirement planning result.  We could have done it in three fields but we also wanted a balanced screen.  However, you can get a more accurate number by going to the profile and configuration pages to provide a better or more precise set of factors like social security, pension or monthly expenses.  You may also go down another level and actually adjust your allocation percentages on the assets page.  While not fully baked, we are thinking of dropping down one more level and allow you to enter and track your accounts.  Remember, this whole project is to replace my DIY retirement planning spreadsheets and I do this one the last one.  The whole point is the deeper we go the more accurate the conclusion will be.  For most folks, a 90%-95% accuracy is close enough but for others, they want more.

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