Traditional progress bars annoy me a bit. While a visualization of progress is nice, the traditional progress bar misses one important component – an indication of velocity. I know, from a programming perspective this tricky because velocity is variable. In my mind, however, the progress bar control should be able to calculate its own velocity based on the updates it’s receiving. I
may just be am really anal but I would like to know if the progress bar is being called to update, even if it’s very slow progress.
Enter, the velocity bar.
The basic idea is the progress bar shows some sort of visual indication representing how often and how much it’s being called to update. Users could see if the bar is really moving or is actually stalled.
Now that I type all of this, the next level of this idea would be some sort of decentralized reporting system where velocity bars inside of a specific application ID could report their update profile. In turn, future velocity bars from that same application could gather the “average” update profile to report on whether the application is moving faster/slower/same than normal.
Just an idea.