Common Desktop Environment: Style Guide and Certification Checklist

Work-in-Progress Feedback



If any command chosen by the user is expected to take longer than 2 seconds to complete, but less than 10 seconds, your application displays the standard busy pointer as feedback that the command is executing. 

The user must receive assurance that your application has "heard" the request and is working on it. If the results of the request cannot be displayed immediately, some feedback must be provided. The busy cursor should be displayed within 0.5 seconds of execution of the command. 



If any command chosen by the user is expected to take longer than 10 seconds to complete, your application displays a working dialog box or other feedback of similar character that indicates that the application is working on the request. The feedback should reveal progress toward completion of the activity. 

If an activity is expected to take a significant amount of time (10 seconds or more), your application should display feedback stronger than the busy pointer. Displaying the busy pointer for long amounts of time may lead the user to conclude that the application has become "hung." A progress indicator should be displayed in these scenarios that indicates that the application is still functioning and is working on the user's request. The progress indicator should show how much of the activity has been completed and what amount remains. 



When your application displays work-in-progress feedback to the user, it does not block access to other applications and services within the desktop environment. 

Multitasking should always be supported and thus your application should allow the user to access other services while it is busy performing some activity. Preferably, the user is also able to access other features within your application even though it is currently working on another request. When this is supported, your application should display an enhanced busy pointer that indicates that the application is busy but still willing to accept input.