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Talk:Mobile Design Pattern: Progress and Wait Indicator

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28 Sep
Article Review by Larry101 (20090928)

This article discusses the use of progress and wait indicators in mobile applications. The article begins by drawing a distinction between progress indicators (which are used when we can measure progress) and wait indicators (when the task time is indeterminate). Their use is motivated by outlining advantages, and the author goes on to explain when each of the two is the appropriate choice to be used. Several points are then outlined regarding how to make use of wait and progress indicators and finally design tips are provided.

I found the article to be interesting reading. The role of progress and wait indicators can play a very important part in ensuring that usability is not compromised when potentially time consuming operations (such as downloading data) need to take place. With more and more mobile applications now relying on internet connectivity in some way or another, the use of these indicators is only likely to become more important. Users need to be kept aware of what is going on. If the application simply freezes when waiting for a download, the user may think there is a problem and shut down the application without realizing what is going on. The discussion on how to use the indicators contained several useful tips. There are few things more irritating that being unable to cancel an operation that could go on for minutes. The article helps highlight the point that progress and wait indicators need to be carefully designed and thought through, rather than simply slapped on the screen in the simplest way possible.