UI Rant: Stateless Status Bars

So, you know those ‘status’ bars that keep scrolling along but don’t tell you anything useful, including whether or not the process has hung or failed. Yeah, they need to go. Really, what needs to return are status indicators that give the end user some concept of how far along the process is, even if it’s a raw number. Processed 387 records out of 12 million? Great…tell me that. Processed 387 records out of who-knows-how-many? Great…tell me that. Stateless status bars are useless in that they don’t actually provide a status at all. the more information shown in a status window, the more empowered the user is to make useful decisions as to how to proceed.

I’d say “we can do better, UI designers”, but UI designers gave us infinite scrolling webpages, Windows 8, Windows 10, iOS 7, Android Lollipop, GNOME 3, Office 2013, Mediashout 6, and Acronis True Image 2013+…so trusting the people who make computer interfaces to make usability a consideration in their designs is like trusting Comcast to make a policy change that lowers cable bills.

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