I'm working on a site where I am being asked to implement a loading animation on page loads. Essentially, the site will display a loading animation as soon as possible, which will go away once all of the assets (images, essentially) have been loaded.
I'm worried that this will actually reduce usability, but am very interested in any data on this. I want to know the "right" answer.
Essentially I have two feelings:
If images further down the page are still loading, I as a user, don't care. I want to start consuming any content as soon as it's available. From this perspective, hiding the site until everything is loaded would actually reduce perceived performance.
The browser already gives a good indication that the site is still loading. Users are at least subconsciously aware of this and are used to some things appearing after the initial render.
I am very interested in opinions or data from people more knowledgeable and experienced in UX than myself.