Animated Progress Indicators: Best Practices and Types

Animated Progress Indicators

What happens when you try downloading a new app that doesn’t work? The cause could be anything, such as a bad internet connection or a system error, but users want to know when it will resume operation.

Internet users have become addicted to quick actions. They are only willing to wait if they know how the system is progressing. If an app or website does not provide a progress indicator, it lacks user interface design because users want to know why and when they can take action.

To keep users engaged with the site, developers are working hard to create and use animated progress indicators for various websites and apps. This article will cover everything you need to know about animated indicators, including how and where to use them. When used correctly, animated progress indicators can improve the UI and UX of your website. Also, read Starting Your Career in Design.

Why Progress Indicators Are Inevitable

This generation of internet users is extremely impatient. They will immediately respond to you. If this occurs, they will continue to wonder what happened. Why isn’t it displaying any indicators? Finally, should I give up? 

They are accustomed to downloading files and apps in a matter of seconds, so why will they wait for an app that takes more than 3 seconds and displays no indicator? To keep these busy bees on your site, guide them with animated indicators that their action is in progress and that the results will be available soon.

Types of Animated Progress Indicators

Spinning Indicator

Spinner indicators display the progress of a web page while it is loading. Spinner informs the user that the system is uploading and that they must wait, but it does not specify how long this will take. This type is used for a system where users should wait for a shorter period.

They frequently have to wait up to 10 seconds. The spinning indicator may be more helpful if you add indicators where users must wait more than 10 seconds.

Linear Progress Bar

The linear progress indicator is used to indicate how progress has been made. It will show the animated linear bar moving forward. It is better for a process with more than ten seconds of waiting. 

Break the estimated time in steps showing the user how many parts have been completed and how much is left.  

Progress Ring

The progress ring is a lively bar that can be used for short and long waits. However, the progress ring does not show a specific waiting time for a short period, whereas the progress ring indicates a waiting time for completing the action for a long period.

Adding time to the first, on the other hand, will be a much better option for increasing user engagement.

Skeleton Screen

Sometimes, you try to open YouTube, but it simply shows a blank screen with empty boxes. A skeleton screen appears when the system takes a long time to upload. It shows the type of data displayed after the system fully uploads.

The skeleton screen can also work for a web page because it displays an empty screen that is simply the page’s empty structure. This type of indicator is also useful for short periods of waiting. Also, read Amazing Tips To Design Mobile User Interfaces Tooltips.

Tips To Design Animated Progress Indicator

1: Inform Users About the Progress

Remember not to underestimate your audience because users nowadays know everything. If your indicator doesn’t tell them what’s going on, they’ll react immediately. Make an effort to inform them clearly by displaying a readable progress bar. Include contextual text so they understand what is going on and why they are waiting.

2: Use an animated progress bar on your website.

Animated progress bars are designed to engage users by informing them of the current status of your app. Use your website’s color scheme and design theme to make it more relatable.

3: Keep It Fascinating

Waiting is tedious, so why not make it more interesting with lovely progress bars? Use your imagination to impress users during this time. Give them enough space so that users can see it and stay in touch with it until it is finished.

4: Make them believe that the bar is moving quickly.

It is another good practice to keep the progress bar moving slowly at first. Try incorporating some animations. Users will be preoccupied with it and must remember to move the bar. As a result, when the bar reaches the end and quickly finishes it, the user believes it is moving faster.

5: Use Moving Progress Bars

A still progress indicator will make progress difficult to observe. It is a good idea to use indicators that are moving. There are many types of indicators moving or spinning. 

6: Do Not Use the Spinning bar for Long Waiting Time

The spinning bar is for a short time to load a page. It usually takes 2 to 10 seconds to upload the page. So please don’t use it for a longer period of waiting time. You can improve it by adding text showing the user how long it will take. 

7: Do Not Stop The Progress Bar

Imagine you are waiting for an app to download, and after a long wait, when the bar reaches 99%, it suddenly stops. What can be more irritating than seeing this bar being stopped? If a user faces it, he will undoubtedly disable your app or web page. That will be a failure for a developer to lose users in this way. Also, read about Tooltips For Mobile User Interfaces.

Wrapping Up

Making users wait for more than a few seconds is the most difficult task. Because they don’t wait. But if you can’t prevent it in some situations, keep informing them how much they have to wait. So, developers need to be creative here. Because if they use a traditional footprint instead of something new, their users will quit soon. 

If you are a new developer and want to improve your user experience, try adding an animated progress bar in the right way at the right place. Adding something interesting in your progress bar will keep users busy, and they will wait happily. All the types and information shared above will be enough for a beginner to understand how to use these progress bars best. 

Naomi McCarthy
Naomi McCarthy

More Articles & Posts