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When to use a Loader


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#1 DonkeyWorx

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 11:11 AM

Do you ever use a loader animation and if so under what circumstances?

 

Do you have a load test time which prompts the use of a loader or just put in there anyway just in case someone visits from bhutan via mobile.

 

TIA

 

Paul



#2 BlueDreamer

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 11:38 AM

I avoid them like the plaque, not only are they frustrating to watch and wait till they finish, it's also often a sign that you need to optimise your page(s) so you don't need them in the first place.



#3 Jack

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 12:23 PM

I think it's fine for requests over Ajax or via an API, where you don't have control over when the data will arrive, or if it will. An indicator is just a method of saying "we're expecting something to happen, but we don't know when, hold tight". I'm not a fan of any indicator that tries to mask normal page loading though, it often makes a site appear slower than it is.



#4 BrowserBugs

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 06:56 PM

I very rarely use them, I think the only reason is as Jack mentions. For me it's user uploading a file, simply to let them know something is happening.



#5 DonkeyWorx

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 12:22 PM

I don't like them either but I have some game content which takes a while (8-10 secs on slow 3G) to load even when optimised so I'm thinking it needs a loader.

 

I'd have thought 4 secs was the max time to wait without giving some indication that something is happening.

 

But I personally find loaders which don't indicate progress to be counter-productive and a progress loader is probably beyond my skillset.



#6 Jack

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 03:41 PM

I'd have thought 4 secs was the max time to wait without giving some indication that something is happening.


It all depends on context. For some actions, 4 seconds is still a long time. If I push a button to view something, and nothing happens within the page, it feels broken. At least a loading indicator tells you an something has registered. It can also prevent people clicking multiple times because nothing has happened in a while.

 

If you have something loading within a page that has the possibility of taking 8 seconds or more, you definitely need to indicate this somehow, even if it's a message instead of a loading indicator.



#7 BrowserBugs

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 04:52 PM

It all depends on context. For some actions, 4 seconds is still a long time. If I push a button to view something, and nothing happens within the page, it feels broken. At least a loading indicator tells you an something has registered. It can also prevent people clicking multiple times because nothing has happened in a while.

 

If you have something loading within a page that has the possibility of taking 8 seconds or more, you definitely need to indicate this somehow, even if it's a message instead of a loading indicator.

 

Some kind of moving indicator is quite natural for the visitor, hangover from computer OS like Windows but it feels comfortable to the visitor ... a progression bar is my favourite as again it feels comfortable like updating an application. I do try to stay clear of them though for landing, a page should render fine without and reserve the indicator for interaction only.



#8 DonkeyWorx

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 09:29 AM

Sounds like I'll have to bite the bullet for our puzzles pages - it will add the overhead I've just saved,  as well as adding complexity for clients  :(



#9 Jack

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 11:16 AM

 

Some kind of moving indicator is quite natural for the visitor, hangover from computer OS like Windows but it feels comfortable to the visitor ... a progression bar is my favourite as again it feels comfortable like updating an application. I do try to stay clear of them though for landing, a page should render fine without and reserve the indicator for interaction only.

 

Progress bars can be difficult to do reliably, so I tend to use small indicators instead. Everyone's aware of how inaccurate the Windows progress bars can be, I'd rather not build my own version :)


Edited by Jack, 10 November 2017 - 11:16 AM.


#10 DonkeyWorx

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 04:17 PM

I thought I'd got a simple one implemented using an SVG animation (or is it animated SVG) but the animation doesn't run until the document is ready which kind of defeats the object - am I missing something?


Edited by DonkeyWorx, 10 November 2017 - 04:19 PM.


#11 rbrtsmith

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 12:54 PM

We're talking about different loaders here.  You don't want a splash page / loading page if that is what you are talking about.  Loaders are useful when making asynchronous requests (AKA AJAX) to an API.

 

Progress bars are difficult.  I'm not even sure if they are possible with many external API's as you won't know how much of the data you have fetched / know the latency time and other variables.  To your own API if it's sending the data over in the form of a stream this might be possible.  IMO time is better spent working of features that are actually useful and accurate.


Edited by rbrtsmith, 11 November 2017 - 12:56 PM.


#12 DonkeyWorx

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 01:41 PM

Thanks all.

 

I've got a simple CSS animation working. Not as slick as I'd like but does the job until I can raise my game  :)






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