I usually find them unnecessary at best, and distracting at worst. Having the "reading time" listed at the top of the article here is enough to give me a sense of how long the article is. But some people really like having them, so maybe there could be a setting for users to turn it on/off per their personal preferences?
I think the reason I don't care for a generic progress bar is that it doesn't really give me meaningful information about my reading progress. I might be halfway through the text of an article, but how much of the remaining article is code snippets, interactive examples, videos, prose, conclusion, etc? The actual progress of me getting through the article may be massively skewed by things that aren't raw text, and so it tends to feel quite arbitrary, generally-speaking.
A better measure of progress might be to enumerate the Headers in the article content, and highlight progress by which headers I've passed. A good example of this is the right-side menu of the Android docs. Seeing that I've got 2 content sections, an example, and a conclusion left until I finish the article is much more meaningful than some arbitrary measure of text. In addition, it allows me to skip directly to a specific section on the page.
I think this is a great way to do it as well is what I was going to recommend. On longer posts I find myself looking for some sort of indicator of where I am and this would be perfect.
Tables of contents would be good, but depend on authors getting their headings in order.
What about using a round "pie chart" indicator on the left sidebar, under the "bookmark" button? I know I've seen this sort of thing before but can't recall exactly where. I think that'd be less obtrusive than the bar across the top.
I could see this being implemented with/near the ❤️/🦄/🔖 icons
how did you get those icons to show up? I need the sauce
On Windows, the emoji keyboard (win + ;)
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