Background: I work for a community college with fairly limited resources, but we recently received a grant that allowed us to hire a new developer, and I'm responsible for the initial training. We usually prefer ASP.NET WebForms applications (complete with postbacks to facilitate any step-by-step data retrieval we need).
However, while training our new developer, I wondered if this preference is bad. I've received some sparse feedback (I do want to stress that I've only heard this three or four times) from instructors that the page flicker on an ASP.NET form is confusing or disorienting. On some of our webpages, I've circumvented this by using AJAX.
Question: is the ASP.NET page flicker a truly bad user experience? If so, is it so bad that it warrants moving away from that technology?
It's difficult to show a live example, as our websites are internal and secured by nature (since we generally deal with private student data, and that's federally protected). The still image below will have to do.
- Page loads like normal:
- User clicks a button that triggers some code in C#.
- Page goes completely white during postback (this may last less than 1/60th of a second, but typically is about 0.1 seconds long). I won't waste your time with an image of a white page.
- Page reloads with new data (similar to or exactly the same image in 1, depending on the operation performed).
I found something that's close to what I'm talking about on the Infragistics website. If you click between the examples on the left-hand side (switching between Activation and Selection, for instance), you'll see that the header and most of the upper menu stay intact, but the content of the page goes blank briefly (or not so briefly, since this is Infragistics) until the new content loads.
The page flicker effect I'm talking about is not as long-lasting as that -- rather than a few seconds, mine lasts at most one second -- but is otherwise the same.