What's up with all the added progress bars?

almost 6 years ago from , Student @TheHague


This website is among others recently where they added another progress bar. Why? Everyone already has a scroll bar to see their progress right?


  • Todd MoreyTodd Morey, almost 6 years ago

    I think the hope is that the progress bar subtly creates an uneasy incomplete feeling until you've seen the rest of the content. Would be curious to see if anyone has A/B tested that. I don't think it's designed to be an aid for the reader; I think it's designed to encourage you to stay on the page.

    8 points
    • Dave LucianoDave Luciano, almost 6 years ago

      Personally, I've found it does the opposite to me. I realize how long an article is by how long the "progress" bar is taking to fill up and bounce right out because I'm not in the mood for a long article at that particular moment.

      15 points
      • Thompson GeorgeThompson George, almost 6 years ago

        I like the way you think.

        3 points
      • Jonathan ShariatJonathan Shariat, almost 6 years ago

        Haha reminds me of the age old "Glass is half full or half empty"

        I can definitely see how it would work both ways. I wonder though if they were able to increase their numbers with it regardless (aka less of your kind and more of those who want to complete things)

        0 points
      • Rey AlejandroRey Alejandro, almost 6 years ago

        I think it just adds up another cognitive load, it removes you on the flow of reading an article.

        0 points
    • Luis La TorreLuis La Torre, almost 6 years ago

      Definitely guilt tripped me into finishing the page.

      0 points
  • pjotr .pjotr ., almost 6 years ago

    JavaScript is fucking over the universe.

    6 points
  • Andy MerskinAndy Merskin, almost 6 years ago

    It's interesting... most articles I read, I scroll to the bottom first to see how long the article is, then go back up and start reading if I'm interested.

    With scrollbars, I've found in most cases, 30-40% of the page's length is devoted to comments or related content below the article, so scrollbars aren't very reliable sometimes.

    2 points
  • Adam Brace, almost 6 years ago

    I think Bloomberg started this trend and here I feel like its done well. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/photo-essays/2015-12-23/the-most-spectacular-luxury-photos-of-2015

    Basically all the articles are on an infinite scroll so its a good indication of where you are before being moved onto the next article as the scrollbar isn't a good representation of that once a new article loads in and it grows. I think this is a pretty great solution for their problem. However some sites like this one have added it just to show progress and personally seems strange for a news site thats more traditionally read one article click to see next one.

    2 points
  • Jorge MartinsJorge Martins, almost 6 years ago

    Everyone already has a scroll bar to see their progress right?

    My scroll bar disappears when I'm not scrolling (I'm on a mac though)

    1 point
    • wojtek w.wojtek w., almost 6 years ago

      You can change it in your settings.


      0 points
      • Jorge MartinsJorge Martins, almost 6 years ago

        thanks, I know that.. its the default, and I like it that way. I was just giving a tip to OP that not everybody has the scroll bar visible, as opposed to that progress bar thingy that is always there.

        0 points
  • Mal SMal S, almost 6 years ago (edited almost 6 years ago )

    Progress bar has a long history in video games and now that gamifications is trending hard. It's coming to the web. Its about having goals and the small wins along the way to reach the grand prize. There should be a reward at the end for it to be effective.

    0 points
  • Brian Howe, almost 6 years ago

    I've seen a few websites that have progress bars. It's not that helpful when it comes to shorts sites i think since you can also see the progress in the scroll bar. Looks good on a very lengthy one.

    0 points
  • Ed AdamsEd Adams, almost 6 years ago

    I think blog posts and news articles do it to let you know how far through the article you are, since the vertical scrollbar on the page isn't always representative (the page might have a bunch of comments loaded or any number of other elements that extend the page length).

    I don't much like it either.

    0 points