Unique page load GIFs help to distract users

Stop using the same old boring spinners for your page load interfaces. Seriously, it’s killing your website’s experience more than you know.

What does that spinning wheel tell you? While it implies that content is currently loading, it does not say how much has loaded or how much remains. All it does is make content loading actually appear slower.

We’ve become so used to everything being instantly available at the click-of-a-mouse that we’ve become impatient. Those of you under 30 probably don’t remember the days of dial-up internet; having to wait patiently, it could take a few minutes for a web page to load. If, however, you think that speeding up your website isn’t important, think again. A one-second delay in page load time yields:

  • 11% fewer page views
  • 16% decrease in customer satisfaction
  • 7% loss in conversions

In some cases, it’s unavoidable to let the users wait for a brief moment before the content is loaded on the web page. At that moment, you should have something to get the users’ attention and keep them on the site. One way to do that is by adding an eye-catching loading animation or loading GIF to the site that will keep them distracted.

And while animation for the sake of being cool can often hurt conversions, there are a few ways, when used properly, can actually strengthen user experience. Some great examples of unique page load GIFs have appeared from various subreddits threads. Take a look at them below:

Website page load GIFs
Distract users while they wait
Entertain users to maintain conversions
Animated page load
Users have short attention

Should you use animate loading GIFs?

You don’t need to overhaul your site to take advantage of page load animations. Just about any site can utilize basic animation in its loading sequence, calls-to-action, or even navigation. If you decide to use one, page loading icons should loop and use a constrained colour palette; they should be fun enough to look at and distract a user. 

Growabrain’s Metafilter post links to some stellar examples of unique GIFs that distract users while the page loads. You can also view more trippy GIFs here.