Let’s do away with circles and bars like we did with flash

  • Luck 10% 10%
  • Skill 20% 20%
  • Concentrated Power of Will 15% 15%
  • Pleasure 5% 5%
  • Pain 50% 50%

Things I hate about you


The 99 Percent

Web designs follow trends just like design in other facets of daily life. One such trend are the interactive elements of bar and circle counters. They offer a little spice of interactivity like their predecessor Adobe Flash, but they are much more mobile friendly and have that simple design aesthetic popular with Flat and Material Design interfaces.

Just like Flash, their ubiquity needs to end. Sure, they are packed in with whatever visual builder you’re using (Divi, WPBakery/Visual Composer, Fusion, etc.), but that doesn’t mean you are obligated to use them. In fact, if you acquiesce and force them into your design, you are inadvertently telling theme developers you want this. But do you?

I could not justify flash and I cannot justify these bar and circle counters

What are my objectives? With every component of your website, it’s important you ask this big question. Bar and Circle counters never meet the bar this question sets for a few reasons.

No Useful Context

I cannot find a good context in which to use bar or number counters. For the most part, I stick with creating clean, professional websites. These elements may look simple and clean, but their messages are detract from the website’s style. See, you can’t simple have a bar without a supporting narrative. What exactly is 80% out of 100%? This is where things break down. Outside of an online resume that lists skills, I’ve not seen them used in a context that feels natural rather than forced. Look at the demos these theme developers provide. Theirs are often quirky and fun, which conflicts with the professional vibe I’m targeting.

It’s lines of code written, numbers of coffees ingested mixed with one number that is relevant like number of support tickets closed. But this number is exaggerated and/or not updated and on its own, would look weird, which is why they have to add a couple others like the aforementioned two almost as placeholders.



Not Entirely Mobile Friendly

Now that more users access websites from mobile devices than desktops and laptops, it’s important to consider them at least equally if not first for most web design projects. Elements like a number counter often serve only one purpose, to make users scroll down further on their phones/tablets.

Why force this upon your users, especially when attention spans are so short?

Keep it simple and you will be rewarded with higher conversions more often than not. Also, you spare yourself the time it takes to create them. Often, that’s not much time (which explains their prevalence), but hey, every minute is important.