Test How Well You Know The Web’s Most Annoying UI

After this charming short, you’ll never look at a loading screen the same way again.

Any Apple user knows, the slightest glimpse of the spinning beachball of death–the icon that tells you OS X is busy–will tighten your stomach, shifting your body into survival mode, even as it slouches in an Aeron chair. “This could be a three-second wait, or it could be the END OF DAYS,” warns your upper GI tract as you wait for that mistakenly tapped iTunes icon to load.


But watch this animation Analogue Loaders by Raphael Vangelis–spotted by Quipsologies–and you might feel differently about the dreaded loading animations in your life. Vangelis spent a year and a half, armed with a 3D printer and a camera, to create claymation-esque stop motion versions of various loading icons.

You’ll spot recognizable icons like the beach ball along with at least half a dozen contributions from Google. What’s remarkable is how many items in this two-minute short are familiar but not quite placeable. (If you want to put your own naming skills to the test, watch it through, then scroll down on this page for a complete list of apps and platforms to check how you did.)

Ultimately, Raphael has created a nice little PR campaign for these loathed bits of interface. You can’t hate something that spends its entire existence trying to entertain you for a few seconds at a time. Of course, just try not to think about it too hard, or you may realize that many loading animations these days are actually just psychological tricks to make you think that some web service is working really hard on your behalf. Because, especially in the cloud, many calculations happen in milliseconds.


Now scroll down for the solutions!


1. Laptop
2. Vimeo
3. Apple
4. Youtube
5. Dropbox
6. Signal
7. Facebook
8. Spotify
9. Adobe
10. Gmail
11. Windows
12. Hourglass
13. Google Chrome
14. Skype
15. Whatsapp
16. Twitter
17. Google
18. Freestyle
19. Skype
20. Quicktime
21. Soundcloud
22. Smart/Lazyphone
23. Flickr
24. Google Drive
25. Google Drive
26. Google Drive
27. Google Drive
28. Imgur
29. Apple
30. Error Messages


About the author

Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company who has written about design, technology, and culture for almost 15 years. His work has appeared at Gizmodo, Kotaku, PopMech, PopSci, Esquire, American Photo and Lucky Peach


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