Rethinking the progress bar

Chris Harrison, Brian Amento, Anastasia Kuznetsov, Robert Bell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

72 Scopus citations


Progress bars are prevalent in modern user interfaces. Typically, a linear function is employed such that the progress of the bar is directly proportional to how much work has been completed. However, numerous factors cause progress bars to proceed at non-linear rates. Additionally, humans perceive time in a non-linear way. This paper explores the impact of various progress bar behaviors on user perception of process duration. The results are used to suggest several design considerations that can make progress bars appear faster and ultimately improve users' computing experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationUIST: Proceedings of the Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Softaware and Technology
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
Event20th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, UIST 2007 - Newport, RI, United States
Duration: Oct 7 2007Oct 10 2007


Other20th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, UIST 2007
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNewport, RI


  • Duration neglect
  • Human-centric
  • Peak-and-end
  • Progress bar
  • Time perception
  • User interface

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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