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31 May 2008

Customers & Web Page Peformance Expectations

The faster and better the web gets the higher our expectations become. For example, "[n]ewer evidence shows that broadband users are less tolerant of web page delays than narrowband users. A JupiterResearch survey found that 33% of broadband shoppers are unwilling to wait more than four seconds for a web page to load, whereas 43% of narrowband users will not wait more than six seconds (Akamai 2006)." [Soufce: The Psychology of Web Performance]

This is an important issue to keep in mind when designing web pages. It is very tempting to load up our websites with interesting and funky stuff that we love. Stuff like flashing images, movies, sounds or music, huge pictures, etc. But the question that must be asked: is this stuff driving away our consumers? Does the self indulgent use of funky technology and graphical features on our web pages actually repel our audience?

I think we are underestimating the utilitarian approach of users these days. People used to just browse the web for fun and discover stuff. But now our use of the web is much more directed and we are time poor so don't want to faff about too much.


By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

2 comments:

NathanaelB said...

Definitely, modern web applications are expected to perform faster than traditional e-brochure sites.

Part of the reason I'm looking at switching from Nozbe to Gtdagenda for task management besides the additional features is that Gtdagenda renders pages about half a second faster than Nozbe. Seriously, that's enough of a difference for it to be a factor in my decision-making. I'm not just waiting for a page to load with information. I have tasks to perform: add project, add task, edit context, mark tasks as read. Delays in page loading add up quickly to noticeable inconvenience.

janettetoral.com said...

Hi Kate. I think users tend to be more tolerable these days as we have other online distractions while waiting for a site to load like reading email, updating twitter, YM, and other stuff.