Information technology progress indicators: Temporal expectancy, user preference, and the perception of process duration

T S Amer, Todd L. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Users of information technology (IT) often encounter "progress indicators" during their interactions. These graphics appear on screen as a user waits for a task to complete and are designed to inform the user of the progress made as the task moves toward completion. This study employs theoretical models from research on human experiences in waiting to develop hypotheses related to the design of one type of progress indicator: the "stalling progress bar." That is, a progress bar that moves consistently during most of the computing process but then stalls for an indeterminate period before completing. Data from one experiment indicates that participants preferred a progress bar that moves consistently to a stalling progress bar, and judged the process duration to be shorter with the linear progress bar. Data from a second experiment indicates that displaying an explanatory message with a stalling progress bar enhances participant's perception about the stalling bar.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Technology and Human Interaction
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016



  • Information Technology
  • Progress Bars
  • Progress Indicators
  • Temporal Expectancy
  • Waiting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Information Systems

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