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Is a loader useful in a complex multi-step authentication process if the app is fast and the waiting time is less than a second?

Some pro arguments I have in mind:

It’s an opportunity to create a bit of breathing room to appreciate the effort that has been put into the task. This gives the impression of the machine “working hard” for large tasks or saving content even though it’s practically instantaneous. 1

  • It makes more obvious the progress

Some cons:

  • The waiting is not necessary, so a pause may not be well perceived by the user
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  • Can you clarify what you mean by "loader"? A spinner on a button? A progress bar? An intermediate page? Obviously you should not add a page which blocks for a few seconds just for the sake of it. But displaying something showing that an action is in progress is good, even if in most cases it will only be visible a very short time, especially if the action usually is short but may sometimes be longer.
    – jcaron
    Nov 25, 2023 at 13:38

1 Answer 1

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Can you detail out what "complex multi-step authentication process" means? Without that it's hard to suggest something.

To the statement you quoted I think there are three aspects of it:

  1. Users often associate effort with value. If an action appears to happen effortlessly or instantaneously, users may perceive it as not being significant.

  2. If the animation or process happens to quick,users might not notice it.

  3. In gambling, part of the thrill is the waiting time. If you were to place a bet and see the result in a second you would lose the pleasure of it. ( but some users don't care about that that's why a lot of slot machines has an interaction to end the animation )

Faking the duration of things is something that should be carefully determined if it's adding value to the users perception or not.

Hopefully this helps you weight in on the decision. You can detail out that process to continue the conversation.

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