An interface element that indicates the progress of process by filling a percentage of a shape (usually a rectangle or a bar) with a color. The percent of the bar that is filled reflects the progress (If the action is 25% complete, the progress bar will be 25% full).

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198
votes
4answers
12k views

Why do progress bars animate backwards?

Gmail's new loading bar drew my attention to this today: The colored pattern inside the bar animates from right to left. The Mac OS progress bars do the same: Is there a reason for this? If I ...
60
votes
10answers
4k views

Why are progress bars horizontal?

Question sparked by this discussion. Why are progress bars almost always presented as horizontal lines that increase from left to right? Is this the best method of indicating progress (and why)? And ...
49
votes
8answers
3k views

Should I fill empty space in bars?

It's about bar-charts in a table. Every row has a bar, which visualises a value of the row. The biggest value of the whole table is the maximum of the bars and not necessarily on the same ...
46
votes
10answers
2k views

How to make a progress-speed bar more understandable?

I've just installed Windows 8 and noticed the brand new File copying dialog. When expanded, it shows the progress and the current transfer speed in one graph. However, the graph confuses me greatly. ...
35
votes
13answers
4k views

Should a progressbar go both ways?

I'm developing a long-running algorithm and want to give my users an idea of what is the current state of the calculation. I thought of adding a progress bar indicating the percentage of all the ...
23
votes
7answers
1k views

Should progress bars show percentage

In the application I am designing we are currently just displaying a circle that rotates clockwise from gray to green. Inside the circle is a number indicating where in the process it is (20, 50, 90). ...
21
votes
3answers
751 views

Is it a bad idea to have two progress bars in one dialog?

Discussing with my team-mates this morning but we're not sure which one is the best way. Scenario: When users select a single document to process, they will see a progress bar and text displaying its ...
21
votes
2answers
2k views

Do progress bars help completion rates?

I'm expanding on a question I posed in comments on How do you indicate progress to users in a multi-step form?. Roland made the comment "because everybody wants to reach 100% percent" when discussing ...
19
votes
3answers
658 views

How to show progress towards goal?

On our intranet we display some numbers for our employees so they can keep track of their performance goals. Currently it's just a table. We'd like something more visual, and this was the first ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

Showing progress for a long many-step process with a discrete progress bar?

I've got a desktop-focused web application where the user is going to be initiating tasks that take a long time. Sometimes, these tasks will take hours to complete (users don't have to do anything ...
17
votes
7answers
2k views

Progress Bars - Why are they never “useful”?

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 ...
16
votes
5answers
1k views

Displaying wait indicator for a long running task — which sometimes completes quickly

In a web application I am working on there are some actions which usually take a few seconds or longer, depending on typical variables (connection speed, PC speed, amount of data involved, host load, ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Can a visual progress bar be used as a navigational element?

We're having a bit of a debate here among teammates as to what would be a better UX solution, so I was hoping you guys could help me settle this. We have a linear flow through a data-collection ...
14
votes
3answers
344 views

A single, long load - or multiple short loads, which would provide a better experience?

I have a very large, modular web application. When it starts I can do things one of three ways: A moderately long load time (about 60 seconds) to fetch all of the modules from the server (presented ...
13
votes
7answers
2k views

Which UI design pattern is this? (progress bar at the top of an article)

On this page there is a progress bar at the top which progresses as you scroll down. I’m really intrigued by this UI pattern. Does anyone know its name or its origin?
12
votes
6answers
5k views

How do you indicate progress to users in a multi-step form?

What do you think of the following form design which I've prepared? there's a progress bar in the top on the right side the steps are listed, and every time the current state is indicated by ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Using progress bars in long web forms: motivating or demotivating?

I've been going through the jQuery demos to determine which UI widgets could be used to help optimise our user's journeys through our web forms. One such widget is the progress bar, but it raises a ...
11
votes
6answers
502 views

What gives the impression of faster progress: progress bar or countdown?

Any thoughts on what would be a more effective progress indicator: a progress bar or a countdown? I've seen both used and get the feeling that with the countdown, time seems to pass faster.
9
votes
7answers
590 views

Showing excess usage in a progress bar

I am working on a web app and would like to display the amount of transfer (bandwidth) that the user has used for that billing period. They are given a certain amount of bandwidth per billing period. ...
9
votes
4answers
921 views

Is it bad UX to omit a progress indicator?

Background: Stack Exchange now lets you paste images from the clipboard into the image upload dialog. Unfortunately, there is no indication that an upload is going on. I am wondering if this is ...
9
votes
2answers
816 views

What is the name for the technique used on Yammer, LinkedIn etc profile pages?

The technique I mean is where the profile page will say "You have completed 60% of your profile, fill in your x, y and z to get to 100%." I think this is a very powerful technique but I can't remember ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Indeterminate Progress Indicator Styles

When you have an operation that has too many factors to reliably give an estimate of actual progress towards task completion, you'll often find an indeterminate busy/progress indicator. Through the ...
8
votes
7answers
613 views

Conveying progress for a set of items each with 2 stages

I think I have an issue with the hierarchy of information in trying to convey progress to a user. On the dashboard of a non-profit dashboard I have the following option: The organisation deal with ...
7
votes
2answers
646 views

How to deal with variable number of steps in discrete progress bar?

We have an application that various other departments will use to create questionnaires. These questionnaires can hide or show extra questions based on responses to previous questions. When creating ...
7
votes
4answers
261 views

How to handle long processing task in UI?

We have a Desktop based WinForms application. Application performs some very complex logic in database and is bound to take long time. By long time i mean it will take anything from 1 min to 20 min ...
6
votes
2answers
421 views

Multipart progress / status bar colours

I am working on an application that needs to show users their currents status / progress in performing a task on a number of items. There are three states that each item can have: New (blue) - ...
6
votes
2answers
591 views

When shortening time expressions in progress dialogs, should they be rounded up or down?

When a user executes any prolonged task, including downloading large files or copying many files, an interface such as the one below is typically displayed to keep the user informed of the progress. ...
5
votes
3answers
493 views

Battery - what percentage range to use for each color?

I need to display battery with 3 colors: green, orange (or yellow?) and red. This device's battery (like iPad, iPhone etc..) with a battery life of up to two days. What percentage range to use for ...
5
votes
4answers
272 views

Progress bar that allows to understand both current and maximum values

I need to design a health bar for a game, so that the player could guess at a glance not only its relative value (i.e. amount of remaining health compared to its maximum), but also to understand how ...
5
votes
3answers
719 views

Jumping progress bar or running process indicator?

I'm developing a process with a predefined number of steps to complete so while process is running I can know how far the process has gotten and how much is there still to be done. My process ...
5
votes
2answers
640 views

UI pattern for showing progress of concurrent tasks?

This is in the context of a desktop application. Typically if you fire off a request to some back end server then it is nice to be able to show some sort of progress indicator in say the status with ...
5
votes
3answers
174 views

How should I alter my programs progress bar?

An application I have just been asked 'to take care of' has some interesting code features. One is that when it is loading up the login screen, it displays a 'splash' with a progress bar. This splash ...
4
votes
7answers
439 views

Progress Indicator suggestions for multithreaded operations?

In the old version of our application, the operations performed during loading were sequential. We indicated progress by updating a single-line text string with the component that was being loaded. ...
4
votes
4answers
652 views

Alternatives to the progress bar

I'm designing a website which elements that have a "progress" property, a bit like change.org or KickStarter. Both of these websites use the classic progress bar. We would like to innovate. What are ...
4
votes
4answers
159 views

Visualization of a resource with multiple competitors

In a game I am working on, the goal is to gather a specific percentage of some limited resource. Additionaly, players can shoot each other, resulting in a permanent loss of some amount of this ...
4
votes
3answers
220 views

Long loading bar vs. short loading bar?

When I have thought of this, I would think a longer loading bar is more enjoyable to the user, because even though whatever the are downloading/loading isn't happening faster, it seems to be happening ...
3
votes
3answers
115 views

“Useful” progress bar for heuristic algorithms (i.e. whose running times can't be predicted)?

Let's say I have an algorithm whose running time is exponential in the worst case, but I'm using a very efficient heuristic for it that in practice seems to make it work in linear time. Basically, ...
3
votes
1answer
225 views

How to design a progress tracker for a mobile environment?

I currently have a web form that is designed for full screen desktop/laptop/tablet displays. As it is a multi-step form, there is a progress progress tracker at the top of the page, highly designed ...
3
votes
2answers
358 views

What are some iPhone app examples that successfully use progress indicators [closed]

I am designing a iPhone app and the main function of the app is a 3 step process (steps most likely don't happen all at once (there could be a period of time between steps, unlike a signup flow). I ...
3
votes
4answers
194 views

How to show that a bar is loading?

I'm building a game. Each character has an energy bar. It's red when it's in the low, and green when it's full. I'd like to make it obvious for the user to see that the bar is progressing ( getting ...
2
votes
4answers
485 views

What's the cleanest option for a loading indicator in a login dialog?

I have a login dialog for a desktop application, something like this: download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups When the user clicks on Login, the color of the ...
2
votes
3answers
155 views

How mixed percentage bars should be?

By mixed percentage bars, I mean something like the "likes bar" in youtube, with a left percentage bar, a right percentage bar, and maybe a separator: Should they be like: ...
2
votes
2answers
199 views

Indicating current step in progress bars

We're planning on integrating some kind of progress bar in a multi-step process. Our developers figured it would make sense that on step 4 of 9, 3/9ths of the bar would be filled in to show how ...
2
votes
2answers
343 views

Is there any public research on effectiveness of activity indicators, progress bars, and progressive loading?

Activity indicators (spinning wheel) and progress bars are very common across many applications. A new approach I have noticed is when an application shows the containers of the page or content ...
2
votes
4answers
195 views

Progress bars over 100%

Does anyone have any advice or examples of what to do with a progress bar that exceeds 100%. I am working on a progress bar to indicate the status of an item. At 100% a deficiency is created for ...
2
votes
2answers
116 views

Progress of incoming bus

I am trying to design an app that shows the amount of time until buses arrive at a given stop. Originally I had something like this in mind: But I was wondering if something more graphical would ...
2
votes
1answer
153 views

Signing up for a site. Finishing progress after step 1 of 4. What/How to indicate?

EDIT: Screenshots will be added soon to better explain the problem I got a four step progress on a website signup page and have a 4 stepped progress bar to indicate where the user is currently at: ...
2
votes
1answer
141 views

How to present overdue items in a progress tracker

I'm working on a mobile app that helps users track the tasks they have planned for each project. The states (status) of the tasks are: Not Started, In Progress, Completed, and Overdue. I thought I ...
2
votes
1answer
153 views

What is an effective way to present System Update Progress to a user that also lowers frustration?

I am working on an app that starts installing any pending updates when a user logs off the (Windows) workstation. The finished app will look like this (minus 'button1'): Our branding is in the ...
1
vote
3answers
82 views

Nonlinear Wizard Progress Tracking

I am designing the User Registration Wizard for a web application. Users register as part of a company, and sometimes that company is part of a larger network/group of companies. So there are various ...