Around the globe, people have fast-paced schedules that allow little time for setbacks. This is why everyone wants quick results. While it may not be possible in every field of life, it is doable in the digital world.
When we use an application or website, we want fast results to the actions we perform or queries we ask. This is why digital platforms use progress indicators. This is one of the major factors that contribute in making a website or app effective. Therefore, app developers and companies that offer web design services in New York pay special attention to it.
In the following article, we will discuss what makes a progress indicator good, its types, and their uses.
The Role of a Progress Indicator
A website or application cannot always be as quick to respond as we may have designed it. This problem occurs due to slow loading times and latency issues. In such situations, progress indicators help provide three types of feedback for the user. These include existing status (what is happening), outcomes (what happened), and future status (what is going to happen).
Good Progress Indicators
A well-designed progress indicator ensures some kind of immediate feedback. This helps the user feel less uncertain and impatient. As a rule of thumb, the use of progress indicators should take place when an action’s response takes more than one second to load. For those under one second, the use of these indicators could be distracting.
Types of Progress Indicators
Here are the most commonly used types of progress indicators and the times when these are most suitable:
Determinate & Indeterminate
Determinate indicators are used for when the time for an action to complete is detectable. On other hand, indeterminate indicators are used when this time is not known.
In this indicator, there is a graphical animation in loop form. The feedback does not provide a specific time for when the task will complete but indicates that work is in progress. It is suggested to use this indicator for fast tasks taking 2 to 10 seconds long. Otherwise, you may end up increasing bounce rates.
This is a determinate type of indicator, which goes from 0% to 100% but never decreases in its value. This is a good choice for feedback on multiple operations taking place in a sequence.
When a task is supposed to take longer than ten seconds for completing, it is best to use percent-done indicators. These are highly informative for the users — indicating current progress, how much is complete, and how much to go all at the same time. These indicators also help users understand how fast action is occurring.
Similar to percent-done indicators, these also show users how long a task is taking. However, these are not accurate. These indicators can disguise small delays by starting slower and increasing in pace by the end. Additionally, the progressive bar should never stop moving.
A steps indicator uses the number of steps completed within a task instead of the percentage completed. It provides sufficient information to the user despite not revealing how long each step is taking to complete.
These indicators use a black version of the page on which the information is going to load. The information loads incrementally, which takes away the focus from the wait time. This way the user can focus on the progress and understand that the responses are occurring immediately.
These indicators feature no animation. Only offering a non-moving graphic or text, these do not provide much information to the user. As these indicators are less meaningful, these are not considered to enhance user experiences. Therefore, these are not advisable for use.
How to Enhance UX during Wait Times
Progress indicators help users understand that an action is happening at a certain pace. However, depending on the task, these indicators still mean wait times for the users. To create better UX, it is a good practice to make your indicators fun. Creative animations prevent the users from being bored and keep their attention long enough for the load time to end.
As much as user experiences are important, so are user interactions. Add a feedback tool to your application or website to determine how users perceive your online platform. In turn, this feedback will allow you to create even better user interfaces — leading to improved user experiences. The data obtained will also help the SEO company you have hired. As usually, such companies conduct an audit of a website before taking the SEO project. This data can help in their audit report. They will be able to easily mark areas on your website that need improvement for better SEO results.