When I search for flights on Skyscanner, it first shows a "Searching" screen with a spinner, then shows some results along with a progress bar and indicators stating "Searched 28/30 providers" and "Searching Kiwi.com" for example.

The progress bar makes it look like the process is sequential (searching one provider after the other), but I doubt that this is actually the case. Is there a UX reason why it might be represented like this, particularly displaying the name of a specific provider being searched?

  • This question is a bit specific to the service in question. Therefor we would only be able to offer opinions rather than answers because we are not the product owners. Only the designers/developers know the real answer to this question. – RobbyReindeer Aug 23 '18 at 14:08
  • Of course. This is why I phrased it as "is there a reason why it might be" as opposed to asking specifically "why is this?" :) I don't particularly care about why they chose to do it, but am curious what reasons there might be, regardless of whether they were taken into account or not. – linuxhackerman Aug 23 '18 at 14:11
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    Do the users need to understand that your processes work in parallel or do they need to understand that the system is conducting a thorough search? It seems like the current approach reassures users that the search is thorough. – Andrew Martin Aug 24 '18 at 7:21

Progress bars are always estimates because no one knows how long each part takes, not even he developer. So when a progress bar provides some insight to what steps are actually being taken, it helps the user be more patient and more willing to wait for results. If the page just froze up, then he site would feel really slow and unresponsive. But if there is continual activity, even if it's a spinning ball, it feels like it's doing something .

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