30 January 2007

On UI Design

there seems to be a new trend in user interface design that i am quickly beginning to hate. it's the replacement of the 'waiting' or 'loading' status bar with something that, rather than showing you how far along in the process you are, simply cycles back and forth a'la KITT's front end grille lights.

an example of such an image can be seen in the stupid image that google gives you while you upload a video to their service.

it's very cute, and friendly, and has the google colors in it. i'm all for that. but it gives the user absolutely zero clue how much of the video has been uploaded, how much more they have to go, nor even a guess as to how long it may take to finish.

(to be fair, google does start giving you a peptalk after you've been waiting a while ['Almost Done!']. whatever. that's not the same, nor as "satisfying". )

i'm starting to see the same thing crop up elsewhere (ubuntu loading screen...)
it's annoying.

i want to see something useful while waiting, at the very least, i want to see something that makes me feel like i'm getting somewhere.

going back and forth makes me feel like i'm just wasting time.

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