Paul Knittel

Making your Web App feel faasssst

March 2014

Just a few thoughts on how to make web apps feel fast.

1. Optimistic saving

For example if you press save, you can remove the modal immediately instead of waiting for feedback from the server. In more than +90% of cases the saving to the server will be fine anyway so might as well make the user feel like everything is instant. Getting rid of any loading spinners is always awesome. In the rare case something goes wrong you can reopen the modal to resolve the problem.

2. Loading previews

Instead of a spinner load empty content blogs. Facebook does this really well.

3. Load asynchronous

If you have a big complicated page you can load one block at a time. So you can start showing stuff straight away but the messenger might only be available once the everything is loaded.

4. Use animations

Sometimes smooth animations can make your system feel faster and more fluid. Great example of this is iOS. It does a great job at showing lots of transitioning animations making the delay to actually see the desired content less painful

5. Simple & clean design

Not only will this simplify your CSS and the rendering in the browser but also he work your browser has to do.

The real deal

I wish I could always implement the ideas I suggest in this article, Making apps feel fast is a great way to improve the user experience. Unfortunately it’s a lengthy process and often adds quite a bit of additional code to resolve, Although old school AJAX spinners aren’t cool, they are super easy and fast to implement.

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