An Improvement on the Progress Bar: Make It a Story, Make It a Game

Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 1217)


Progress bars provide progress information for users while waiting. Given that users dislike waiting, shortening users’ time perception and improving their tolerance for waiting are essential for the design of progress bars. This study investigated the impact of progress bar decorations on users’ time perception and tolerance for waiting. Within the context of loading articles, the results from experiment one showed that unpredictable decorations above progress bars significantly increased participants’ tolerance for waiting. Experiment two provided a context for software installation and revealed that participants perceived significantly shorter waiting time and maintained a higher tolerance for waiting while playing games, compared to watching game videos. These findings provide an innovative idea for the design of the progress bar - make it a story, make it a game, which can be used in various situations to greatly improve user experience.


Gamification Progress bar Storytelling Time perception User experiences 


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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology and Behavioral SciencesZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  2. 2.School of Information and Library ScienceUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  3. 3.Department of Human DevelopmentCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  4. 4.Social Science DivisionThe University of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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