Use CSS Transitions to Avoid a Flash of Loading State

Kent C. Dodds
InstructorKent C. Dodds

Share this video with your friends

Send Tweet
Published 4 years ago
Updated 3 years ago

This video uses an experimental API that has been changed. useTransition no longer accepts a SUSPENSE_CONFIG. Learn more.

Based on research at Facebook, we know that if a user sees a flash of loading state, they perceive the app as being slower. So let's improve the pending experience for users with faster connections using css transitions to avoid showing the loading state right away.

Instructor: [00:00] Before we were using useTransition, React didn't show a loading state for a couple of hundred milliseconds after the user interacted with our app. This was based on research by the React team, because they noticed that users thought an interaction was slow if they saw a flash of loading state.

[00:15] We can see a flash of loading state now, if we speed up this fetchPokémon request to only take 200 milliseconds. If we save that, we're going to get that initial loading state. Then, we click on Charizard, we're going to get that opacity down to 06, as we transition between these different Pokémon.

[00:33] It gets even worse if you lower it down to 100 milliseconds. Then we see a real flash of loading state. This would look faster if we didn't see that flash at all. One thing that we could do, is we could say, "Hey, if isPending is true, then we'll apply a class name, and that class name will make the styles have an opacity of 06."

[00:54] We can have a transition so that the transition is delayed by a couple of 100 milliseconds to simulate the same type of experience that we had before we used useTransition.

[01:06] Again, the benefit of useTransition is that we get instant updates to the DOM based on the state updates that just occurred, and we also have a little bit more control over what that stale state looks like, while we're waiting for the timeout that we've configured or for our promise to resolve.

[01:23] Let's go ahead. I'm going to change this opacity inline style thing. We're going to get rid of that. Instead, I'm going to apply a class name conditionally based on its pending state. We'll say is pending, then we'll play Pokémon loading. Otherwise, we'll just apply an empty string.

[01:45] With that now, I'm going to go to my CSS and here is the Pokémon info styles. I'm going to add a Pokémoninfo.Pokémon loading here, and we'll set the opacity to 06. We'll transition our opacity and we'll just make it transition instantly. I don't need it to fade in and out.

[02:06] The key here is I'm going to make the transition delay take 04 seconds. It seems like a reasonable amount of time. If it takes longer than 400 milliseconds, then we'll show the opacity of 06. If it take shorter, then the Pokémon loading class name will get removed and we don't see the opacity of 06.

[02:27] If we go back here, again, our fetch Pokémon has been hacked and here we can control how long it takes. We're just going to make it 100 milliseconds. Then I'll go here, we see that initial loading state with a new Suspense component that we're rendering.

[02:41] Then, we'll see when we click on Charizard, because it happens so fast, we don't see that intermittent loading state and the app feels responsive to us. Then, if we make this take 500 or 800 milliseconds, then we will see that pending state there.

[03:01] In review, the problem that we're facing is, for people with fast connections who could make this happen in 100 milliseconds, we're seeing an intermittent pending state. We solve that problem by using a CSS transition in our styles here, with a transition delay of 04 seconds.

[03:19] Each use case is going to be slightly different, but that's the one that seemed to work pretty well for this particular use case. Then, we conditionally apply that class name, based off of the isPending state that we're getting from our useTransition. This allows us to not show the pending state if the promise resolves within 400 milliseconds.