Progress Indicators

Progress indicators quickly express progress and on-going activity.

A determinate progress indicator fills from 0 to 100 percent and monitors the progress of an operation.     A determinate progress indicator can also visualize capacity.


An indeterminate progress indicator shows that an operation is ongoing without indicating when it might finish.


  • Choose the style appropriate for the type of the operation and location within the UI.
  • For a determinate progress indicator, provide an accurate estimate of the percentage completed, and update the estimate at least every five seconds.
  • For an indeterminate progress indicator, when space allows, include text to let the user know the operation is in progress. For example: Working..., Loading..., and Initializing...
  • If an operation fails, display an error message.
  • Use a busy cursor (clock face) for operations that take less than five seconds.

Visual Specification



 Indeterminate: Small

    Indeterminate: Large


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