UIST2.0 Archive - 20 years of UIST
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duration neglect

In Proceedings of UIST 2007
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Rethinking the progress bar (p. 115-118)

Abstract plus

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.