Tuesday 20 October 2015

ASP.NET Tips #36 - Perception is king

If you can't do everything quickly, sometimes it's enough just to make a user think you're quick.

From a user's perspective, the most important time is often the delay until they can see something useful on a page, rather than every single detail being available. For example, if serving up a Tweet button adds 200ms to a page's load time, consider using ajax to load the button asynchronously after the more important content is available.

This principle applies to desktop apps too. Ensuring that long running tasks are done off the UI thread avoids the impression that an application has "locked up", even if an action takes the same length of time to complete. Techniques like spinnies and progress indicators also have a role to play here, letting the user feel as though progress is being made.

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