I was reading some article on Invision blog, my reading pattern actually got disturbed and eventually noticed it was because of the reading progress indicator/scroll spy. Lately, quite a few websites are using this indicator to give feedback as the user read. Although we could consider this as one of the 10 principles mentioned in Heuristics for User Interface Design i.e visibility of system status, it is solely used as an eye candy.
- Basically, it was meant as an indicator for the reader to get gradual reading feedback as he/she reads.
- Although the progress bar indicator is a design ambiguity, it is mostly can be used in longer articles/blogs which gives an instant response about completion.
- It has become more and more common to hide the scrollbars when not in use, a progress indicator can be an additional support during such scenarios.
- I feel this progress indicator as “redundant”, as we already have a native browser scroll bar, which tells me the exact same thing apart from distracting my attention.
- Few users might get confused about this as a progress bar for loading new content which was initially used by youtube. Moreover, mobile users are more fond of this as loading content.
- Basically, it is not recommended to use a similar style which is already been using for the content loader.
- Also, if you have two containers beside, having an individual scroll, it is not recommended to use progress indicator in this scenario.
- Comparatively, default scrollbar gives additional info about how lengthy is the content by looking at the height of the scrollbar. Whereas it is difficult in progress indicator as it is always considered width as 100%.
Although many designers are trying to help readers understand how far they are from finishing the article. Here are couple more examples I found interesting.
Here is one more concept I was trying to visualize. You can play around using this link.
This could be a lengthy discussion and ultimatly content is what users really care about 🙂 All I would ask is do progress indicator actually increase completion rate of the lengthy articles?