Confusingly (and rather unhelpfully) when it comes to web applications there are two different topics that may be referred to by the terms “responsive” or “responsiveness”. If you stick “responsive UI” into your favourite search engine the top results will concern “responsive design” – the practice of making websites and applications work across devices, regardless of device and browser dimensions. That’s an interesting and important topic when it comes to designing data-science applications but it’s not what we’re covering here.
What we’re covering here is responsiveness that you might stick “un” in front of if things got really bad. It’s about making your user interface feel like it responds instantaneously to a user’s interaction. We’ll go from covering clicking a button and making sure the user sees some kind of simple acknowledgement the button has been clicked to clicking a button (or dragging a slider or…) and immediately seeing the results of complex computations.
Read on to learn a few things you can do to make those apps a little more user-friendly.