Displaying a Boundary in Graphic and Symbolic “Wait” Displays: Duration Estimates and Users Preferences Academic Article uri icon


  • Two experiments assessed the effect of displaying a boundary on duration estimates and preference ratings for dynamic displays that were shown while users waited for the system's response. Displays were either symbolic (changing numbers) or graphic (increasing rectangles) and could contain a boundary that indicated when the interval was expected to be over. Duration estimates were similar for symbolic and graphic displays and for displays with and without a boundary. However, when the displays were encountered successively, participants assessed the graphic displays as having shorter durations than the symbolic displays. Faster rates of change in both types of displays led to increased duration estimates. Although displaying a boundary did not affect duration estimates, participants preferred displays in which a boundary was shown and preferred the graphic displays over the symbolic displays. Hence, bounded graphic displays are recommended as “wait” displays for computerized applications.

publication date

  • January 1, 1995