One thing that progress bars don't tell you very well is when something has changed and by how much. You can see the overall progress, but if it's stalled and you look at it, you just can't tell if it's made any progress recently… Unless you watch it VERY closely.
I have an idea on this front… Make the progress-bar be in two colors and when the progress changes draw it in one of the colors. Then as time goes on fade the one color into the other. The overall effect would be similar to those progress-bars that are just a gradient, but with the gradient actually meaning something.
So you could look at it and if it was all the “old” color you'd know it has been stalled for a while with no progress. If it's all the “old” color with a chunk of the “new” color at the end you'd know that it was stalled but got some more information recently. If there are three different chunks of progressively faded color at the end, you'd know the relative age and size of the last 3 updates, etc…
Now somebody just has to implement it. Unless it's already implemented, in which case I've never seen it…comments powered by Disqus