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what are your opinions on loading gifs or spinners?

I have some pages on my site that take a second to load up, and I am tempted to have a translucent overlay and spinner, but it looks irritating I think. That said, the second delay IS noticeable.

I am at a point where I could have loading animations all over the place but I am guessing that there is an 'appropriate' use of them (best practice so to speak)

Thoughts on this rather open ended question are appreciated.

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Instead of having all the elements have a loading animation (because there is such a thing as information overload), why not have one element signify all of the elements loading?

Facebook has this image that is placed before the lazy load has appended more posts to your news feed. It symbolizes numerous posts just about to be placed by just one single image. Instead of crowding your eye with multiple icons for what's to come, it eases that information in with just one image saying "more is on the way, hold on." Other sites do the same thing by having one gif (the conventional spinning wheel to symbolize loading) mean the same thing (more is on the way).

Try to stay away from crowding an interface with too much information, because that really can overwhelm your user. They don't have to know the exact number of how much is to come, but all they need to know is that more is coming.

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