Illusion of speed in UI design.

Less time spent doing something feels like simplicity, and we are thankfully loyal when it happens, which is rare.

When any interaction with products or service providers happens quickly, we immediately link this with the feeling of simplicity.

Actually reducing time brought us into times we are living now where the world never sleeps and we always have to be in time.

Significantly reducing the option of choice is a radical approach to shrinking the time we spend using a product.

Reduction of time in the digital space started to get more and more present with the launch of Google.

The online shopping experience starts getting more and more into saving time, for instance, recommends a handful of books you might like, based on the preferences of people it deems similar to you. Having to browse the entire website would be a time intensive task, so algorithms like this can help us to find more quickly what we need.

Saving time is really about reducing time. More exactly there are three methods we can apply: shrink and hide.


Subtle animations can be used to shrink time. Here is a short example:


Another method can be hiding time. Of course, hiding it does not save time; it simply creates the illusion that time doesn’t exist.

Sometimes, reducing the time it’s impossible. What can we do?

It remains only one question:“How can you make the wait more tolerable?”

A good example of hiding time is the graphical display of progress, or a “progress bar” or “loading indicator”.

There are lots of examples of hiding time. You see it in games, websites, apps and so on…

There are two types of time perception: prospective and retrospective.
Perspective is when your brain is anticipating what will happen next(like the loading bar) and retrospective is when you’re “counting time”, like waiting for the website to load.

The majority of people are living in a retrospective time and that’s why they appreciate simple products and become very loyal to them.

Thank you!

Follow me on Twitter: @agispas


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