I'm sure many people have noticed this before and I can't be the only one to be annoyed by this, but progress bars (I'm referring typically to those that display the progress of the execution of multiple tasks rather than single tasks - i.e not an image upload) rarely offer a true representation of the progress and time taken.
Progress bars are able (or should be able) to tell us two things.
How far through executing a certain procedure the computer is.
Approximately what pace it is progressing (the speed it fills up - a visual indication).
However, the nature of most progress bars is somewhat 'stuttery' and I gather the reason why is something like my diagram below:
For some reason progress bars seem to be divided into equal sections for the number of tasks to be completed, so in my example, 33% will be given to a task that takes roughly 6 times as long as the other 66%, giving a false representation of the progress made.
What I think progress bars (continuing my example) should be like is as follows:
Why don't the majority of progress bars seem to follow this example? And furthermore, why can't progress bars fill up at an even pace, rather than halting on one particular task for 10 minutes, leaving the user clueless as to whether the installer has crashed or if its processing a lot of information. If it's the latter, why is that process not broken down further to be represented on the progress bar?