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We have a comparison platform with five categories. Three of the categories load instantly because it's from our data feed. The rest take anywhere from 10 to 20 seconds.

So should you let the user begin engaging with the loaded content while the other parts load? Or make them wait until everything is loaded before they can start using the application?

You can see the staggered data loading here: https://myutilities.com/

  • Is there any advantage to making people wait for everything to load? If not, then the answer seems obvious. – Ken Mohnkern Dec 9 '16 at 18:02
  • That they would have all the options to compare at once. But I hear your point that it seems obvious. – jgraft Dec 9 '16 at 18:50
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Recommendation

Staggering the data loading will allow the user to view the data that is available. However be careful not to make the loading animation too distracting.

Things to consider

Distracting

Any movement/updates on the page will likely catch the user's eye and divert their attention to the loaded element. That may be what you want. But if you want the user focused on a primary action, having their attention diverted to a less important element isn't ideal.

Confusing

If the user is performing an action at the time the element finished loading, the user may incorrectly associate their action with the element being available.

Ads

Savvy users are used to avoiding ads. They may mistake the tabs being loading as advertisements and ignore them.

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