December 28, 2010

Video: Tricks to make progress bars seem to move faster

I remain a fan of the old time-killing Photoshop demo joke: “You know, if you grab the bar with your mouse and pull, it’ll move faster…”


Posted by John Nack at 12:53 PM on December 28, 2010


  • PECourtejoie — 2:08 PM on December 28, 2010

    One of my colleagues used to tilt his screen to make them go faster!

  • Allen — 9:28 PM on December 28, 2010

    Back in the days of CP/M, we sold a highspeed text compression & retrieval program that could store 1,000 pages of inverted text on a 360k floppy, and search the whole thing in under 3 seconds. Our customers, however, complained that the initial program loading time was too slow. (This was because we were also sucking up the entire index for the compressed text.)

    So we added a sequence of text messages (this was CP/M, remember) in mid-screen. They said things like, “Loading core…”, “Initializing search engine…”, “Installing reverse Poisson table…”, etc. Of course, a CP/M app wasn’t likely to be more than 48k at the most, so this info was completely bogus. But with about 6 messages, each one a bit wordier, we timed them so that each was on screen for less time, making them harder and harder to read. Customers were delighted, and congratulated us on getting the load time so much quicker. (The messages actually added about 3 seconds to the load time.) And of course they were glad to see that this program did so many sophisticated things while they were waiting.

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