How many times, every day, you see this word in front of you (read the title of this post again!)? This is if you use English of course. It might be different in other languages: Cargando, تحميل, 加載, Chargement …
Sometimes, this word is coming with a faithful companion, named like “loading indicator”, “Ajax loader”, “circle ball“… Sometimes this “ball” is showing alone, without label. Once the data is available, this two disappear, and then appear again on your next click or content request. You can see more and more of this on the latest web apps, web mail clients, social networking websites and many more.
Most of you will know that in this world of APIs, Web Services and sharable data, we have to tell the user that the computer is working hard for him/her, doing something while the requested data is loading and ready for use. So instead the old hourglass for the desktop, remember that one, you rarely see it nowadays because the CPU is so fast, we have the web “hourglass” in another shape and form. In the past simple browser opening will stuck on the hourglass for a while.
“Loading…” was used previously extensively in the early days of Flash, where after waiting three, four or more MINUTES for something to load, usually stupid logo animation, for which at the time clients we paying good sum of money, you will get to few paragraphs of copy. And now, in the AJAX era, here it is again. We are “Loading..”, but this time for more meaningful and useful data. Latest one is the good news. The bad news is that it’s going to be with us for a while.
I think the current state of the web is “Loading…” .