Seekbar and Other UI Distractions

Has anyone ever considered the seekbar a distraction? Has anyone put any thought into the idea that the seekbar scrolling across the bottom of the screen is distracting, especially when you have a series of short slides? My colleague and I were discussing the pros and cons of short slides vs. longer slides and it made me wonder if anyone has any experience, research, or other anecdotal information on the seekbar or other elements of the UI that have a positive/negative impact the user? I realize its a broad question, but I'm curious. Thanks.

4 Replies
Walt Hamilton

At least with a live presenter, thousands of very short slides is WAY preferable to a couple of dozen longer ones, because that philosophy helps prevent crowding too much junk on each slide.

Watch TV or movies, we are trained to have an attention span of 3 - 4 seconds. That's about how long I can watch a slide before I start looking for a progress bar, and if it isn't there, it is a bigger distraction than not having one.

Just my personal .02

Alexandros Anoyatis

Lately, getting rid of the seekbar is the first thing I do when starting a project from scratch. I see it as a distraction, but merely because my style of development doesn't really match the seekbar's current function set, not because of my attention span.

I'll easily spend more than 4 (or 40) seconds on a slide that is well crafted and helps solve the overall business problem - give me a slide full of text or overly long instructions on what to do, on the other hand, and I will look for the nearest exit button in less than one.

Alex

Christie Pollick

Hi, Paul -- I see you are getting some great responses from the community thus far, but I thought I would stop in to share some info that you may find useful also. Please see this article on User Interface Design: 3 Things E-Learning Designers Need to Know, and also this oldie-but-goodie blog post, 3 Graphic Design Principles for Instructional Design Success

Hope that helps, and to broaden the base of exposure for this design-related question, you would also be welcome to post over in the Building Better Courses forum, as well. :)