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Michael - you could tackle the above another way: Firstly, just let users enter URLs in the main body of the text. I'm guessing some users will do this anyway. That way there's only one kind of additional action - 'Upload a file', which will make it significantly easier to design. Given that there's a maximum of 4 attachments you could even just offer 4 file attachment controls on the page, and do away with the whole 'Add another' headache altogether.
If the average time to complete a transaction is more than you can reasonably expect your users to spend in a single session, then you'll need to provide a way for them to save their progress.
The same goes if the session is likely to be interrupted for some reason. For example, if the user is suddenly asked for information which they might not have immediately to hand (a way to mitigate this is to warn users if they're going to be asked for that kind of information).
Saving progress does not necessarily mean you require user accounts, logins, email validation etc. For simpler transactions that don't store personal information you might be able to store the data in the URL itself. The user then simply has to bookmark that URL.
For more complex transactions that don't store personal data, you might be able to offer users a unique and hard-to-guess URL that they can use to get back to their session.
Does anyone have experience with more complex forms where sections can be filled out independently of one another? With what I'm designing I feel the user needs to see a high level view of each section and whether the section is complete as they can level the form and return to it at a later date. (I have just seen there are some case studies further down, thank you).
Hi Gavin. We're still researching this one - but our current position is that it's better to meet those needs with a separate page, rather than trying to integrate it across every page of the transaction. That way, you have much more space to play with, but also somewhere to send people when they return to the transaction.