I haven't been able to find answer to my question from the internet, so maybe someone knows how to help me.

What is the minimum waiting time after when should a page loader be displayed to the user?

For example, I have a situation where the page loads quite quickly, but there is a rule that page loader should be displayed no matter what, so as the loading time is short, the loader only blinks/flashes.

Now I'd like to know what is the best practice for a rule "show the page loader only when loading time takes more than ... seconds".

Loader example:

enter image description here

5 Answers 5


If loading time is more than 1 second.

It is one of the classics, going back to 1968.

1.0 second is about the limit for the user's flow of thought to stay uninterrupted, even though the user will notice the delay. Normally, no special feedback is necessary during delays of more than 0.1 but less than 1.0 second, but the user does lose the feeling of operating directly on the data.

This one is from Nielsen but it is originally from Miller.

It seems that you don't know how long the page is going to load so the rule that you should show the loader no matter what is valid. But you could fade it in during the first second so if the page loads faster the blink/flash isn't that noticeable.

Or if you want only to show the loader after one second there still is a change for it to blink/flash really quick if loading is complete after 1.1 seconds. So you could only start to fade the loader in after one second.

  • I would argue that it is very dangerous to compare the patience of people in 1968 to today! Behaviour has drastically changed in the last 50 years. That said, the nn-group probably offers the best research in this area and i would stick with the rules offered there (link in this answer).
    – Andi
    Commented Jul 7, 2021 at 7:43
  • I'm surprised their patience was only 1 second back then. When I first started using a computer, sometime in the 90s, anything less than 5 seconds was great!
    – sleighty
    Commented Aug 27, 2021 at 9:56

I found this article on Smashing Magazine:

When the app takes more than 0.1 second but less than one second to respond to user input, it feels like the app is causing the result to appear. Although users notice a short delay, they stay focused on their current task. After one second, the user’s attention begins to wander, and they notice that they’re waiting for a slow app to respond.

This article provides some more info on the topic: https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/12/best-practices-for-animated-progress-indicators/

A user’s wait time begins the moment they initiate an action, and the worst case is when they don’t have any indicator the system has received it. When an app fails to notify users that it’s taking time to complete an action, users often think the app didn’t receive the request, and they try again. Plenty of extra clicks and taps have resulted due to a lack of feedback.

Any action, such as clicking a button or pulling to refresh, should have an immediate reaction. It’s essential to give some visual feedback immediately after receiving the request from the user to indicate that the process has initiated.


I never heard of anything like, Loader must be visible no matter what. My point of view I never liked this loader. For best UX it is necessary to use Loader if your content taking time to load. Show the loader if loading time is more than 3 seconds.

If your page loads in time there is no need of loader to show. As it gain positive points from users. :)

It is also good to use loading button creatively.


The average attention span of a human is 8 seconds at any given time, and it can only reduce further due to more multi tasking. You need to find out why a Loader is must? Then ratify that statement before you start working on the design. A loader is not a bad idea but keep it only if the loading time exceeds 5 seconds.

While that being said, if its a webapp then the browser takes care of showing the user but if its a component or data table then its necessary to show the loader.


Loading circles are so annoying and should be avoided for a better UX. To improve the loading experience we should do these following things:

  1. Engage user is some fun animation while loading.
  2. Put some engaging text like Fun Fact or Useful tips.
  3. Skelton layout or Fake layout can be used like facebook is doing while loading the contents.
  4. Instead of Loading circle we should use progress bar. Like chrome mobile browser does on phones.

Check these articles and video:

  • Your answer starts off as a little bit too based around your personal opinion, that's probably why it has been downvoted. Your answer also doesn't focus on the specifics of the question. The question is about the waiting time before a page loader should be displayed not which type of loader to use. Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 10:12

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