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How Progress Bars change the way we live - SXSW presentation


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Once upon a time slow connections begat the Progress Bar - bloated sites would taunt us with '15% loaded' screens. High-speed promised to kill the beast and free us from their tyranny but yet it lives! Progress bars are being used MORE lately to direct user actions. Look to Farmville and LinkedIn which push their users to collect 100% of their personal information. Incomplete progress bars are an itch that needs to be scratched. They carry the implicit language that declares 'You are here' but more importantly 'The end is in sight'. Game design motivates us through incremental, measurable progress towards a tangible goal but is this the way real life works? Is the progress bar's ubiquity in technology starting to affect the way we measure progress in meatspace? This panel will reach far across time and space to look at the story of progress bars, why they hypnotize us and what we need to do - slay the beast once and for all, or throw ourselves into its partially-complete embrace...

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How Progress Bars change the way we live - SXSW presentation

  1. How Progress Bars change the way we live Evan Jones - Stitch Media SXSW 2011 Presentation
  2. By the end of this presentation, I will be 70% naked. Hashtag: #progressbar
  3. Progress Bars are much older than computers
  4. Progress Bars are much older than computers
  5. Progress Bars are much older than computers
  6. Progress Bars are much older than computers
  7. Progress Bars are much older than computers
  8. Progress Bars are much older than computers
  9. First progress bar? Progress Bars are much older than computers
  10. 20% Naked
  11. Commandments of the Perfect Progress Bar
  12. The First Commandment Thy progress bar shall be quantified and have an endpoint.
  13. Blasphemy!
  14. The Second Commandment Thy progression must always be forward. None shall reverse or reset to zero
  16. 30% Naked
  17. The hierarchy of motion is thus: Acceleration > Constant Speed > Deceleration > Unpredictable Speed The Third Commandment
  18. Peak & End Effects affect perception of time Speed Duration Acceleration feels faster than constant motion
  19. Pulses that increase in frequency as bar proceeds Ripples moving backwards from the leading edge Illusions trick our perception of time
  20. The Fourth Commandment Thou must do something after thy progress bar has completed.
  21. Blasphemy!
  22. The Fifth Commandment Thou shalt tell the user why he may not proceed. BONUS: Thou shalt make use of the waiting time with relevant information
  23. Progress Bars are now a meta-layer to media
  24. 40% Naked
  25. Progress Bars are motivators
  26. Gamification 1. Set up a goal 2. Give tools to reach it 3. Reward them when they do
  27. Sites using progress bars to motivate action
  28. 50% Naked
  29. Progress bars create tension. We crave resolution.
  30. Cognitive Dissonance
  31. 60% Naked
  32. A progress bar is a black box They are good at making hidden processes understandable
  33. Black boxes in our lives Airport Delays Waiting Rooms Postal Service Traffic Lights Oven Timers Retirement Savings
  34. Will Progress Bars exist in our future? Moore's law is making black boxes invisible Shift now from machine-focus to people-focus
  35. We're not good at quantifying everything. We're unpredictable. We don't always know when things are complete. People break The Commandments
  36. (The last 30% is really the only part that counts) It's not always quantity. Sometimes it's about quality. Jacket Shoes Socks Necktie Belt Dress Shirt Watch T-Shirt Pants Underwear
  37. To achieve 100% completion Questions? Let me know what you thought Reach me @stitchmedia Thanks to: Chris Harrison, Carnegie Mellon Many others who discussed these ideas