For context, I work on a learning platform where a student and a tutor come together for one-hour learning sessions. At the end of the session we have a learning reflection step. Here we show the goals that were set at the beginning of the session as well as the specific concepts covered in the session. Our goal is to provide enough meaningful information and context so that the student can properly reflect.

One way in which we're doing that is showing you how much time you spent on each concept. However, it's not enough to know just how much time you spent, for it to be impactful and meaningful enough, we'd like a simple visual to help reinforce and convey this - and there's not much space!

Attached is one idea I'm working with.

Thoughts or ideas?

Thank you! 🙏

enter image description here

  • A clock/stop watch might be a good visual. Commented Sep 4, 2019 at 12:27

4 Answers 4


I don’t have an answer, rather a bit of feedback on your idea that might lead to another answer...

I don’t think it’s clear that the “progress bar” treatment is communicating the impact of what is covered, especially since the visual treatment looks so similar to the to the time spent. At a glance, I interpreted it as a visual for % of time spent on the subject, only to realize after a few moments that isn’t the case.

  • Perhaps loosing the "background" bits to the right of the first three bars would help: it would look less like "percent completed" and more like "time spent". Might also be worth having a vertical tick-mark or line representing time expended (e.g. one for 15min at the end of the last bar).
    – TripeHound
    Commented Sep 4, 2019 at 13:10

Hmm, from a psychological point of view, progress and percentage of execution are useful:

  • gratification
  • thinking, "Oh, there is only 12% left"

My proposition (It's only proposition not finish solution):

enter image description here

  • Thanks for putting this example together! Percentage of execution is a great one; in our case, we think of percentage in terms of the percentage of time you spent on a concept alone and when compared to other concepts you worked on in a session. Because we can't yet tell if a student has completely grasped a concept, we don't say that a student has 100% covered a concept. They can work on it and move on to the next one so it's more a matter of, the student has worked on it. Hope this makes sense!
    – Jess Eddy
    Commented Sep 5, 2019 at 1:42
  • I did end up doing something similar to your example but much more stripped down and I still need to think if and how percentage makes sense to include: cl.ly/9ff407b981c2
    – Jess Eddy
    Commented Sep 5, 2019 at 1:43

You may sort the subjects based on the percentage covered.


1- Sort and section subjects based on percentage covered. Students will see the fully covered subjects in the first section in green.

2- Percentage covered is more meaningful than time spent.

3- You may use just two colors (Green: fully covered, Blue: for the rest). Sometimes too many coloring looks disruptive and messy.

*You are correct when you expressed that showing time spent on a subject is not meaningful enough. Usually having a student take a quiz at the end of each subject shows the student's level of understanding of the subject. If that is something you can implement, then showing a visual clue of the quiz result might add a more meaningful insight.


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

  • Thanks for putting this together! I did end up doing something similar to your example but much more stripped down and I still need to think if and how percentage makes sense to include: cl.ly/9ff407b981c2
    – Jess Eddy
    Commented Sep 5, 2019 at 1:44
  • welcome. which one is more meaningful to your users, time spent or percentage covered? does the time spent on a subject reflect the amount covered? When 15min is spent on a subject, does that mean the subject is fully covered?
    – Mo'ath
    Commented Sep 5, 2019 at 14:00

I think, showing time in minutes is fine, however visuals like bar etc. makes it available for comparison with other topics. This is not required in this context as some topic might need 5 minutes to understand and some might take 30.

Thus, showing time in minutes is enough. Along with that you can put appropriate level of understanding if you want like - Introduced, practiced, understood, proficient etc. This will give and understanding if where are we wrt a topic and if we need to spend some more time.

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