Progress bars

Progress bars rarely work. A bar displaying a percentage of completed tasks gives the user an often false idea of how much time is left. Unfortunately, as is pointed out in the comments of silentk’s blog post on the subject, the percentage of tasks completed does not tell how processor-intensive the remainder of the tasks is going to be. It’s certainly important to give some sort of indication that stuff is happening, but a progress bar which gets stuck at 99% for half an hour can easily be misinterpreted as a crash, and the user might decide to give up.

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