Splash Screen Debate

I have been working on a few mini apps and SCORM packages at work lately and the discussion of splash screens and their relevance and importance came up. For those that don’t understand, splash screens are those still images that fill the screen of a mobile device when you open up the app. On a desktop, they can be full screen (such as for an operating system) or a portion of the screen (for example, Photoshop, Illustrator, and so on). They usually give feedback that the system has responded to the user’s action of opening the application. Splash screens can include loading indicators and animations but are often static images.

I feel that sometimes splash screens are often abused as a way of getting branding in front of the user, but they should only be used if loading is going on in the background. An app that displays a splash screen for a few seconds could prevent the user from actually using the app, and that is the whole reason the user has the app in the first place. In my opinion, mobile apps are especially designed for quick, short uses. You normally want to load it up, do your job, then move on.

Sure, for the first run, the app might not have any content to display, so it can show a splash screen while the request for content is made, making sure to give an indication of progress. But, don’t you think for subsequent loads, the cached data can be displayed while the request is made. What do you all think?

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