Dilemma — Updated Numbers or Long Response Times

Paypal showed me this splash screen when logging in:


I think this is a useful design pattern that can be valuable to most of our clients dealing with time-sensitive data.

It is time-consuming for an application to check if there are new payments on every request. This check is better off being uncoupled from the actual user request. Then, the check should be handled backend by a cron job or similar every second, minute, hour or whatever suits the data in the system.

The Paypal example has these advantages:

  • Faster response times — does not wait for a backend account check
  • Server less sensitive for extreme load because each request uses less cpu power
  • Server can handle more users because each request ends faster

Any other pros or cons you like to add?

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2 Responses to “Dilemma — Updated Numbers or Long Response Times”

  1. Lee Aylward Says:

    One con that comes to mind is that with a cron job you would end up generating a Recent Activity list for people who aren’t going to be visiting the site any time soon. I rarely check my papal account, so it seems incredibly wasteful for them to generate any lists for me or people like me (of which I predict there are millions).

  2. zapatos fiesta Says:

    update numbers use to be the best choice.

    its true that the crisis make everythign harder but we should forget that people should have all the information posible.

    eveybody should get more culture and this is a little step to get it