If you can't make your software faster, make it seem faster. Developers who create desktop GUI applications have been doing this for years. Keep the user's mind busy with cute little animations and barber-shop style progress bars. 'AJAX' web-applications often retrieve data no faster than 'Web 1.0' applications that refresh the entire page. However the AJAX application may seem faster because the user is not presented with a boring white page but is instead given an animated GIF to pass the time. - Clinton ForbesI'm not sure that applications actually seem faster when you do this but there have been a number of tests performed over the years that confirm that users are much more accepting of slow procedures if it looks as if the computer is doing something as opposed to just sitting there with no feedback.
K. Rhodes 2007-05-18