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I'm building a web app that have 1 main feature and 2 sub features. The data that is displayed in these modules are pulled from a server and takes 1-2 seconds to load. I've chosen to save a cache of the data on the client side that loads instantly but I'm having trouble how to signify that the content have updated to the latest live version. Should I somehow let the user know that the initial data is not the latest?

I've been thinking of having each section flash quickly or have a spinner for each that turns into a checkmark and then fades as the data has been loaded.

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You are on a right path and it is ok to show cached content.

If your intent is to update that content after it's updated, then I would suggest adding a small disclaimer in a corner somewhere saying "last updated 24 hours ago"...

When you get responce from the server, update the page content and also update the disclaimer as well.

Updated disclaimer

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If the content has a standard format, consider using a little wireframe-type graphic indicating it is loading, like Facebook does.

enter image description here

  • The idea is that the user can still use the cached data and this solution wouldn't allow that. The problem is how to tell the user that the initial cached data is old and the fresh data is underway, and maybe even how to show that it's updated. – Andreas Poulsen Nov 5 '15 at 14:32

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