0

We are creating an UI element to show task completion and are leaning more towards showing a number of tasks completed as compared to the words. e.g.

  • "0/3" v/s "To Do"
  • "1/3" v/s "In Progress"
  • "✔" v/s "Completed"

Our justifications for these design choices are:

  • Translation overhead for the words is extra effort for the designers.
  • The words take up more space.
  • The gamification aspect of the number/number would increase user engagement
  • The words do not give an actual estimate of how much work is left to do

I would like the validation and/or rebuttal to these justifications.

Thanks!

1
  • 1
    Only use numbers if the individual steps are of very similar length.
    – Crissov
    Jun 19 '17 at 10:48
1

context, context, context

Like everything UX, you need context. In a vacuum, the words are better, because they explain there's a task, and a status of this task. Numbers indicate that something is going on. At best.

Now, if you have proper labeling, all your points are valid. With just a tiny little change in your context, you can (and should) use the complete opposite approach.

However, your variables are almost labels. So, if the task is implicit within a broader task or flow, you could simply get rid of the labels and use variables as labels (hence, words). Since label+numberVariables will be longer than just label, you can make a case for that, exception made of your last item.

In short: barring labeling, space considerations and TESTING, I'd say your approach is sound and quite probably correct

4
  • In general I agree with this answer, except for this: "Numbers indicate that something is going on. At best." Numbers indicate roughly how much progress has been made: I know which step I'm on, and I know how many steps there are going to be. "In Progress" only communicates "I'm not done yet." For that one example, even out of context, the numbers are a clear improvement over the indeterminate "in progress". (Perhaps it should be "step 1/3" instead of just "1/3", but that does come down to context.) Jun 12 '17 at 19:01
  • @DanielBeck, you're correct, but I'm talking about a scenario where you have no labels, only numbers. This would mean anything at all, while an implicit task with words might be a lot more informative
    – Devin
    Jun 12 '17 at 19:35
  • Even without the label I'd say "1/3" communicates more than "in progress" -- but of course I'm assuming that those numbers would be in a context that implies they're indicators for a stepped process. Which brings us tidily back to your original point :) Jun 12 '17 at 19:40
  • 1
    @g0rd 99% certain? 99% finished? 99% of the userbase? 99% of the events? I think you mean certain, but without labeling I can not be 100%. (sure) Aug 12 '17 at 6:25

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.