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4 Seconds Loading Time Is Maximum For Websurfers 219

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the longer-than-i-wait dept.
nieske writes "Of course we all want webpages to load as fast as possible, but now research has finally shown it: four seconds loading time is the maximum threshold for websurfers. Akamai and JupiterResearch have conducted a study among 1,000 online shoppers and have found, among other results, that one third of respondents have, at one point, left a shopping website because of the overall 'poor experience.' 75% of them do not intend ever to come back to this website again. Online shopper loyalty also increases as loading time of webpages decreases. Will this study finally show developers of shopping websites the importance of the performance of their websites?"
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4 Seconds Loading Time Is Maximum For Websurfers

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  • tabs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kuciwalker (891651) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @09:24AM (#16767071)
    It takes a lot longer than 4 seconds for a Slashdot story to load, particularly with the new AJAXy discussion system. I usually open up several things at a time in different tabs, which decreases the average loading time since I can read one thing while another loads. What browser were these people using?
    • Re:tabs (Score:5, Insightful)

      by From A Far Away Land (930780) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @09:40AM (#16767369) Homepage Journal
      There ought to be a lot more consideration given to dialup users this study finds. Bling might draw people back to the site, but only if it takes a second to load.
    • I'm sure that a study of "1000 shoppers" had to include mostly IE users.
      • by Phisbut (761268)
        I'm sure that a study of "1000 shoppers" had to include mostly IE users.

        Even when I'm using Firefox, I don't use tabs to shop online. Tabs are useful on slashdot, and to view online documentation, but not to shop. You can't open several tabs at the same time, one to view the description of the item, one to add the item to your cart, one to fill the shipping address, one to fill the credit card information, etc.

        Online shopping is a linear process and tabs can't help that.

        • Re:tabs (Score:4, Insightful)

          by wgaryhas (872268) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @11:05AM (#16769021)
          I guess you have never wanted to have the descriptions of several items up and compare them? In my experience, it is only linear when you are ready to pay; searching and comparing products benefits greatly from tabs.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          You can't open several tabs at the same time, one to view the description of the item, one to add the item to your cart, one to fill the shipping address, one to fill the credit card information, etc.

          Online shopping is a linear process and tabs can't help that.

          I disagree.

          I routinely use tabs while online shopping, most commonly to open product descriptions in a new tab will leaving a product index unmolested in another. Additionally I do not recall any of the sites from which I have made purchases g

    • by dabadab (126782)
      For me /. is real fast - I use lynx :-)
      • You must not post often. I usually post, then go get a cup of coffee or *gasp* - go do work - while the page loads.
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by maxwell demon (590494)
          I guess your employer denies you a browser with tabs in order to have you get at least some work done. :-)
          • Actually, I so use FF, and often have to open up a few tabs to make my comments in the time I use for reading /. (damned limits on posting).

            And, for the record, I own the company. I can surf /. as long as I want, as long as I don't mind making no money.
    • I usually open up several things at a time in different tabs, which decreases the average loading time since I can read one thing while another loads. What browser were these people using?

      1. The average user goes about doing things in an average way. That tells me they use IE, and even if it was IE7 (which isn't average quite yet) that they would do all their shopping on a single site from a single tab. Telling them there's a workaround is nice, but in the end is about as likely to affect the average us

      • "4. Some of this is easy to fix. Why should I have to click through 3-4 different page loads to buy stuff? Why not just put everything on one page? Why load pages up with extra crap that has to download? There are ways to do fast loading sites, as long as it's a priority for those building them."

        I want plain text descriptions, PRICES, and thumbnails. If I want big pretty pictures I can click on the item for more info. I also want more items per list, not the 10 or so that some places have. It makes scann
    • Re:tabs (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Ash Vince (602485) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @10:04AM (#16767777) Journal
      The thing to remember is that most of the rest of the world have better internet connections than the US do now so pages load quicker for us.

      Here in the UK slashdot is near instantaneous over 24 Megabit ADSL. 2 Megabit ADSL accounts are given away for free in the UK now with most phone connections. The slowest account people actually pay money for is 8 Megabit ADSL.

      As for all the people saying they still use dialup, why? Here you can get better net connections than 56kbit using a mobile phone (3G - UMTS).

      To me the idea of waiting 4 seconds for a page to load is monsterous, expecially if the next page I clicked took just as long even though half the images were already cached.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Psiren (6145)

        Here in the UK slashdot is near instantaneous over 24 Megabit ADSL. 2 Megabit ADSL accounts are given away for free in the UK now with most phone connections. The slowest account people actually pay money for is 8 Megabit ADSL.

        What?! What?!!!! If you're referring to the offers from people like Carphone Warehouse, it's far from free. Virtually everyone is still paying for their ADSL. And I'm paying for mine, which is currently running at 512K, because thats all the line supports. 8Mbit/s is just a dream unti

        • Somewhere on your home LAN. Your web page latency will reduce substantially.

           
        • by Ash Vince (602485)
          I was reffering to the offers from Carphone Warehouse, Orange, SKY, NTL and a few others. They are usually free if you sign up to whatever other service they offer for the same price they used to charge for that on its own.

          Personally I know a few people using the talktalk offer from Carphoneware House.

          By the way, I live in Manchester (Moss Side) and we have 24 megabit ADSL here. Not exactly the most expensive area but it is close to the city centre though, albieit on a different exchange.

          And how come you ar
      • Re:tabs (Score:4, Informative)

        by compro01 (777531) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @10:56AM (#16768833)
        As for all the people saying they still use dialup, why?

        because internet service in my area is practically a monopoly. the phone company refuses to run DSL-capable line the 3000 ft from the highway into the village and install the nessesary hardware. they're making buckets of cash off of raping us for our dial up ($60 a month for 180 hours/month of net time, plus the "unlimited long distance" required to be able to get that 180/month plan), not to mention the overage charges they pull if you go over the 180/month, wheras you can get the cheapie 1.5mbps DSL for $15/month in town.

        the only other options in the area are wireless high speed (similar to Wi-max), but for that you need to buy the antenna and gear upfront ($250) and satalite internet, with is not an option as a. our satalite provider doesn't do internet and b. it would be useless in any case due to the lag from satalite (stupid laws of physics).
        • by cortana (588495)
          It sucks living in the sticks; however why do you think the phone company has a duty to sell your DSL services at a loss?
          • by compro01 (777531)
            not really that they have a "duty" to, but i've really been going "WTF?" since they extended said lines to a similar town (population of 100 vs. population of 175) 15 miles down said highway. i mean, they extend the lines 15 miles to another town, but can't extend them less than 1 to mine.
      • Gonna let ya in on a little secret. <looks around cautiously> They got these things, see, they're called "servers". Websites live on these things. Sometimes, lots of websites can live on one server. Then, they got all these "users" trying to look at the websites on the "server", and sometimes things get messy, or at least a little congested. (See "Tubes" for more advanced technical info.)

        Ok, all snarkiness aside, what it boils down to is simply this. It does not matter one damn bit *how* many zill
      • As for all the people saying they still use dialup, why?

        Because I'm in the middle of Africa?

        I share a 750mb/s sattelite downlink with about 1000 people. It costs around $3500 a month. It wasn't much more expensive than the 256kb/s ISDN line that we used to use. (our uplink is still ISDN)

        That covers the school, but us staff can get dial-up for about US$20/month which is cheap for this country.

        Or I can use my GPRS phone at 20/- per megabyte (That's about US 28c/mb).

        One thing I do look forward to about movi
    • But you are looking for news, which I'm sure people have more patients for than when they do for shopping. I've sat on sites looking for news that took about 30 seconds to load, but I don't think I would have that type of patients for shopping. Like real shopping I want to get in and get out.
    • Re:tabs (Score:4, Interesting)

      by init100 (915886) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @10:45AM (#16768619)

      It takes a lot longer than 4 seconds for a Slashdot story to load, particularly with the new AJAXy discussion system.

      Slashdot does not use AJAX, just some Javascript, for the new discussion system. In essence, the only thing it does is hide all posts until you click on its header to expand it. The posts are there anyway, loaded along with the rest of the page. That way, it uses about the bandwith of the nested option, while presenting it as a dynamic threaded view. If they used AJAX, it would (probably) send an asynchronous query to the Slashdot servers asking for precisely the post you try to open. That does not happen, I checked tcpdump myself.

      Had they really used AJAX, a comment thread might have been a lot quicker to load initially, but slightly slower loading each post.

    • It is amazing to see what happens when one does not take the time to read history. In the early 1970's, Delta Airlines commissioned a study about the patience of a customer calling to make a reservation for a flight. The result was 3 Seconds. Computers back then had to have that much speed to be acceptable for a global airline reservation system. I have been using that rule as a measure for user patience; I thought everyone did.
    • It takes a lot longer than 4 seconds for a Slashdot story to load, particularly with the new AJAXy discussion system. I usually open up several things at a time in different tabs, which decreases the average loading time since I can read one thing while another loads. What browser were these people using?

      I'm all with you. Actually, I was just about to post a comment mentioning Slashdot load time and the advantage of tabs -- then I saw yours. Take this as an informal up-moderation. (I have no mod points.)


      • This all begs the question: what is the psychology behind the three or four second user patience threshhold? My vote is that after half a dozen four second waits, the distract-me-from-life-by-buying-more-crap circuit begins to lose its grip, and a wee murmur of "what the heck am I doing wasting my life on this garbage" penentrates the dim folds of consciousness. This is not a case of humans engaged in rational activity. These are just shopaholics regulating their emotional state the same way most true ge
  • Well.. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @09:25AM (#16767081) Homepage Journal
    Four-seconds-is-the-most-time-I-would-ever-spend-r eading-a-Slashdot-article-or-comment-so-I-ask-all- posters-to-please-make-their-points-quickly-and-su ccinctly-in-small-manageable-doses-ooh-look-there- is-a-shiny-object-on-my-desk-gotta-go.
    • Amazon still codes their pages so they come up "fast" on a 28.8 modem. Ebay is the same. Where as some sites are sold by flashy experiances, they are not. They want to keep the barrier of entry low so you buy from them, and the whole process is fast and easy. To do otherwise is simply bad business.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @09:25AM (#16767095)

    Note that Akamai has a vested interest in this study. They would like to encourage more businesses to use their technology so that their sites load faster.

    I am not saying that the study is biased, but one should at least consider that it is in Akamai's best interest to convince every site owner that they will lose customers if their site is not fast enough.

    • Could be. The figure I remember being a rule of thumb during the .com days was always 8 seconds - but that was a much easier target to hit unless you were doing something stupid (or had to do some really heavy lifting) on the backend.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Fozzyuw (950608)

      Note that Akamai has a vested interest in this study.

      Agreed, also, I would say the old humorous adage of...

      Statistics show that 70% of statistics are wrong.

      I'd also think that this is more FUD, since of course people are going to say "I'll never return to that website because once it never loaded for me". Of course, if said website was Amazon.com, I'm going to go all in and say that they will most likely return and that they where just unhappy at the time.

      Also, what where the survey questions? Where

    • by k12linux (627320)
      I have a problem with this kind of statistic when it's based on only 1000 people with no mention of how they were selected. Are they all 3Mbps broadband users? Dial-up users wouldn't even blink at a 4 second load time.

      The fact that it was a "survey" and not a study where they actually watched users surf is a sticking point for me too. Most people are not very good estimating time in that range. Did they really leave a site never to return after they had to wait 4 seconds for a page load? Or was it real
  • Great (Score:5, Funny)

    by UbuntuDupe (970646) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @09:27AM (#16767119) Journal
    Now that this research is in, I predict that all website designers will realize the futility of flashy designs and instead remake their sites to be more like Craigslist or Google. I'm predicting an end to Flash and Javascript.[/naivete]
    • by jsebrech (525647)
      Now that this research is in, I predict that all website designers will realize the futility of flashy designs and instead remake their sites to be more like Craigslist or Google. I'm predicting an end to Flash and Javascript.

      It's amusing that google gets hailed for being a beacon of simplistic web design while most of what they build nowadays are extremely complicated ajax or flash web applications. Just about the only thing that is "light weight" is google's homepage, and that only in classic mode, becaus
  • Bullshit (Score:3, Funny)

    by diegocgteleline.es (653730) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @09:31AM (#16767199)
    I'm still on dialup, you insensitive clod! (really)
  • Only four seconds? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BenoitRen (998927) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @09:32AM (#16767207)
    Sounds to me like people are getting really impatient these days. I'm willing to wait up to 10 seconds to let a page load, and if it still hasn't, but is busy (instead of connecting again) I load another tab and occupy myself with something else.

    However, four seconds sounds accurate for how long to wait until the page -starts- to load. If I have to wait longer than 4 seconds just to connect to a web server, I start to get impatient. If it takes much longer, I'll come back to it later and go do something else.
    • Sounds to me like people are getting really impatient these days

      I think it's experience, not impatience that leads to this behavior. If you get nothing for 4 seconds after trying to open a site, aren't the odds of it working right today going down with each additional second? If nothing has happened after 4 seconds, will 5 help, or 500? At that point, you start to assume the tubes are clogged at the other end.

      If a person is shopping or reading the news, long waits between each action can be very irrit

  • I call bullshit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Deagol (323173) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @09:33AM (#16767225) Homepage
    If the hyper-caffeinated, sugar-popping, MTV-watching, blipvert-desensitized ADD kids of today can tolerate the glacially loading site known as MySpace, I'd bet dollars to donuts that the slightly older, credit card-holding demographic of online shoppers gladly tolerate more than 4 seconds on we sites, and do so without much prejudice.

    Either the summary is totally off, or this 'research' is total bunk.

    • Re:I call bullshit (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ScentCone (795499) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @09:39AM (#16767333)
      I'd bet dollars to donuts that the slightly older, credit card-holding demographic of online shoppers gladly tolerate more than 4 seconds on we sites, and do so without much prejudice

      I think it all comes down to what the site is doing, and how readily available another, virtually identical site (or range of merchandise, at similar prices, etc) actually is. The more sites there are that present and transact the same things in essentially the same way, the more that things like raw speed differentiate one from another. The more unique something is (niche merchandise, a blog with a particular perspective), the more patience people will have. Those things are nearly impossible to quantify, and thus you get largely BS, context-less reports like the one being discussed. I think that the larger conclusion ("people are less patient than they used to be") is valid - but pretty hard to nail down, in terms of specific seconds, for specific demographics, on particular platforms, across particular pipes, under certain seasonal circumstances, blah blah blah.
    • I don't think your argument holds much weight.

      For one, MySpace loads up less than four seconds for me and I am using DirecWay.

      Another is that MySpace is an entertainment site, not a commerce site, and I think that makes a difference in what people will tolerate. For some reason, people want to be there. A lot of people don't want to wait to buy things, it's not entertaining. For some reason, people will often wait an hour in line for entertainment, but only rarely would they be willing to wait an hour to
  • People are still spending money on stuff like this?

    Here's a question: is gmail.com the same as brochureware.com? Would a user visiting a web(2.0)-based application have the same load time expectations as visiting an about page of a company's website?

    Of course the answer is no. People with half a brain start to sound like a broken record here when they say "This has no value. It all depends on the site's audience, not a general audience.", but that's because the people behind studies like this never listen

  • Of course Akamai is going to say that... they're business model revolves around bringing data closer to web surfers in order to speed up busy sites.

    That's kind of like two years ago (or so) when RedHat released a whitepaper saying linux has a lower TCO while simultaneously Microsoft released a whitepaper saying windows server has a lower TCO.

    The only difference is, there's no one out there selling a service or product that slows down website access to provide a contrasting viewpoint. Well, none except [dallaway.com]
    • by MtViewGuy (197597)
      Self-serving probably, but Akamai does have a point, though. With today more and more users surfing the Internet at broadband speeds, anything that slows down access is going to aggravate users to no end.
  • by MagicM (85041) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @09:36AM (#16767285)
    How convenient for Akamai. A survey done by them shows that webpages need to load faster or you could lose money. And you wouldn't want that, now would you?

    About Akamai
    Akamai® is the leading global service provider for accelerating content and business processes online. Thousands of organizations have formed trusted relationships with Akamai (...)
  • Disturbing... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rasmusneckelmann (840111) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @09:37AM (#16767297)
    One of the main reasons why I'm considering upgrading my 233-MHz laptop, is not because it's slow at doing heavy calculations (like Matlab, etc), but because it will soon to be impossible to surf the 'net. Not only are webpages growing larger and larger kB-wise, but they're also using increasingly more CPU resources when loading. Why is it necesary for my poor laptop to run at 100% CPU usage for a long time, just because I want to view a website? When gmail just came out it worked perfectly fast on my computer, but more and more javascript have been stuffed into it, so now it's almost useless for me. The tendency is same for many, many websites.
    • Yes your absolutely right. The internet should be fully compatable with 1995 technology for the rest of time. The issue isnt that you DESPERATELY need an upgrade, it's that the web is broken and needs to be redesigned.

  • Poor Layout (Score:5, Insightful)

    by COMON$ (806135) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @09:39AM (#16767337) Journal
    I think poor layout is more of the problem than loading times. In the late 90s and up to 2003 or so, websites were aweful from an artistic standpoint, but many sites have gotten better.

    But for me the ability to sort through goods is the #1 priority. Yes I like to have a pretty site to look at but if I cannot find what I am looking for with a few simple queries then I am gone. Newegg is a fine example of a site where I can find what I want quickly. Tigerdirect is getting better. Dell is the worst. I have a theory that Dell is like many supermarkets, they rearrange stuff and make searching difficult so you see the maximum number of items before finding what you are actually looking for.

    Web designers, if you want business, make it easy. I dont really think most people go to sites just to browse. Most of the time we are there with a purpose and as an ADD generation we want it quickly or we will move on.

    • Are web sites (and the corresponding fuckwit designers) who assume that a browser window is exactly 1024 pixels wide... I happen to run my process bar down the right hand side rather than at the bottom of the screen, this takes away perhaps 100 pixels and the number of web sites this fucks up is absolutely staggering. btw having the process bar at the side allows you to read the name of each window no matter how many of them there are, it makes far more sense than having it at the bottom.
    • by jsebrech (525647)
      But for me the ability to sort through goods is the #1 priority. Yes I like to have a pretty site to look at but if I cannot find what I am looking for with a few simple queries then I am gone.

      Same here. I get massively irritated by the dumb designs of web stores like amazon and itunes when it comes to searching through music. For example, most music web stores let you search by genre, but only have the most generic genres, and won't let you combine them. If I happen to like instrumental electronic post-mod
  • by artifex2004 (766107) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @09:40AM (#16767361) Journal
    I just can't imagine that someone who is used to using, say, Amazon.com, is going to blink, much less suddenly switch to another vendor, if they have a 15 or 20 second page load every once in a while. Now, sure, if they did it all the time, I'd start to wonder. But since a site like Amazon trades on the fact that it's a central clearing point for a vast selection of inventory, there's a built-in barrier to trying someone else based on the assumption that they are less likely to have it. There may also be barriers to switching based on unfamiliarity with alternate vendors, etc., but previous experience, if not outright customer loyalty and perception of being able to deliver the goods, really drive retention a lot more than how fast you can always get that page up.

    Now, whether Akamai is being disingenuous or something else... I really couldn't imagine :)

  • Flash? No thanks. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Channard (693317) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @09:42AM (#16767415) Journal
    I'm on dial-up so I expect some long load times. However, if I get a flash webpage, I close it - I'm not messing about waiting an age for it to load. I'm not looking for some crappy 'multimedia experience' - I just want information, to buy something or whatever. I'm getting Broadband soon and I'll still be closing anything flash sites, no matter how fast they load. It's the web equivalent of powerpoint poisoning, and the worst thing is virtually every flash page I've seen hasn't been skippable.
  • Why I leave.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nolife (233813) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @09:44AM (#16767445) Homepage Journal
    Wow, a web caching company has determined that customers abandon a site that is slow.

    That is not an issue for me. My highest chance of leaving is determined by when in the buying process, the site provides total price including all shipping, handling, taxes, and acceptance of coupons codes. If they need my name and address I may leave depending on if they have a shipping link or general shipping info somewhere on the site that I can reference first. I will ALWAYS leave if they require CC or payment information before providing the total price or even a hint of shipping costs.
    I guess they need my address prior to calculating shipping and handling charges if they do not have flat rates but a place to enter my just my zip code should be enough IMHO.

    For a good example of providing a good experience is NewEgg. They includes the shipping costs right next to the product descriptions without even having to go to a cart first.

    I view the delay or confusion of shipping and handling charges to be an attempt to hide a total cost or get you to get so far that they figure you will not back out. I will back out and take my business elesewhere.
    Almost like the the Ebay sellers that charge $20 to ship a motherboard (at least they are up front about it though).
    • by clickety6 (141178)
      I agree - and as a person who often buys from US sites to be shipped to Europe, it's even more annoying when you have to go through the whole process of giving names, CC details, etc. only to be told right at the end that they don't ship outside US... (or if they do, but the postage costs will be 5 x the cost of the item you're ordering (and way above what the US Postal service actually charges. Look guys, if you don't want to ship to Europe, just tell me up front! Don't wait until the last minute or charge
  • Tabbed browsing largely negates this. It takes me more than 4 seconds to digest any given page, so even if I am looking at only one slow site, I can still flip back and forth between two tabs, reading the one while the other loads.
  • by dreamyu (952264)
    This is totally off-topic here, but it's a small little detail anyway: Did you know that "akamai" is the hawaii. word for intelligent, clever?
  • Don't deserve the title. I've been designing and developing websites since 1997 and I have ALWAYS worked to a maximum of 10 seconds for a page to download - even back in the day when everyone was on modems . People come to your site for a purpose, all the flashy crap designers love to put in is just a barrier between the user and that purpose.
  • by Centurix (249778) <centurix AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @09:56AM (#16767633) Homepage
    I'm here waiting for the thread to load up, click reply and decide to wri.. oooh, shiny thing!
  • In my situation, a 5MB/s internet link and a Windows 2K machine with the latest patches and Firefox 2.0, the Gmail interface takes more than 4 seconds. I am not impressed with this. But when I boot into Ubuntu, the same Gmail takes less time than on windows, which is good enough.
  • by Toreo asesino (951231) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @10:01AM (#16767725) Journal
    Stats for http://slashdot.org/ [slashdot.org] -

    Request Count: 78
    Bytes Sent: 50.871
    Bytes Received: 436.121

    RESPONSE CODES
    --------------
    HTTP/200: 78

    RESPONSE BYTES (by Content-Type)
    --------------
              application/x-javascript: 288.162
    application/x-shockwave-flash: 22.517
                                            text/html: 17.348
                                            image/png: 11.410
                                              ~headers: 21.942
                                              text/css: 37.599
                                text/javascript: 9.026
                                            image/gif: 28.117

    That certainly takes longer than 4 seconds.
    • by N7DR (536428)
      What tool did you use to get that info? I'm serious... That summary looks really nice and I'd like to use it on some sites.
  • Am I the only one who gets absolutely infuriated when it the g-mail on my google home page lags a second before coming up?

    One thing I see a lot of developers do which really kills me is to actually load initial content with AJAX. This is the reason the Google home page is slow. Apparently other developers disagree with me, but I've always generated the initial load data server side on the original request and then used AJAX for updates only. AJAX shouldn't be generating your entire page layout from
  • The (somewhat controversial) web-usability expert, Jakob Nielsen, has had much to say about response times. From his 1994 book, Usability Engineering, he states, "10 seconds is about the limit for keeping the user's attention focused on the dialogue." (reference: http://www.useit.com/papers/responsetime.html [useit.com]). You may have heard of him through his 2000 book, Designing Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity. There has been a lot he has written that, in light of new methodologies, still makes good sense/pr
  • I bet the some people are happy to wait longer than 4 seconds for his favourite pr0n to download. This is slashdot after all.
  • by gelfling (6534) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @10:16AM (#16768043) Homepage Journal
    Registration causes me to abandon online store sites. I have a credit card. We've been working out the bugs for 50 years. Credit card sales work pretty well already. I am not going to waste a lot of time registering for your damn website in order to qualify to spend my money with you. Sorry. If you really really really really really really want me to do your market research for you I demand a discount - maybe free shipping, which is my other pet peeve. It really doesn't cost $15 bucks to pick, pull and pack that widget. I'll trade a few seconds of load up time for that. Now get to work assholes. I'm the customer, not you.
    • "It really doesn't cost $15 bucks to pick, pull and pack that widget."

      No it costs 15 bucks because of the many things that can happen to a package. Free returns, lost shipments, reships (say you forget to pick it up at the post office.. OOPS), large orders, courier damage - the list goes on. If a company charges everyone flat rate shipping, then you have to factor in and average out many many other costs than just the stamp, box and peanuts. You are basically paying for all the bad customers and fuckups of

  • "Currently, the minimum goal for response times should therefore be to get pages to users in no more than ten seconds, since that's the limit of people's ability to keep their attention focused while waiting." - Jakob Nielsen March 1st 1007 - Source: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/9703a.html [useit.com]

    Loading times have always been a factor. Instant is usually better imo :-D
    • by trongey (21550)
      "Currently, the minimum goal for response times should therefore be to get pages to users in no more than ten seconds, since that's the limit of people's ability to keep their attention focused while waiting." - Jakob Nielsen March 1st 1007...

      Dang, he figured that out nearly a thousand years ago, and nobody is paying attention yet. And they were still hand writing every page back then.
  • Personally I don't care about load times unless they exceed more than 20 seconds. It's the time it takes me to actually understand/find anything that bothers me.

    My college's student portal was like that. Sure it would load quickly, but it was a pain in the rear to navigate. The splash page was plastered with options, tickers, sidebars and crap that you could care less about. The categories to navigate through were even worse, and completely unintuitive.

    That's why sites such as Google or Thottbot appeal to m
  • This is the best argument for getting old web application and ajax-ize them, reducing load time and getting a better user experience.

  • THE WEB CACHE COMPANY

    Nuff said. Tagged as FUD. Jupiter Research go down as spin for hire.

     
  • Not developers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Angst Badger (8636) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @11:03AM (#16768989)
    Will this study finally show developers of shopping websites the importance of the performance of their websites?

    Developers already know this. But at the end of the day, we're paid to implement the ill-considered plans of marketers and designers.
  • I just refreshed Slashdot's homepage and FasterFox (http://fasterfox.mozdev.org/) reported a load time of 9.545 seconds. Good thing my ADD is only mild or I'd... oooh, pretty flashing banner ads...
  • While Akamai might have a vested interest in the results from this study, its outcome is similar to non-public data I've seen elsewhere. At least for the general public on a large site, making the site faster directly results in users staying longer and returning more frequently. If they make money from their users in some way, either by selling them something or showing them ads, improving their page load times [slashdot.org] usually directly results in more money.
  • Is that before or after the "Looking up slashdot.org" message disappears? Seriously, for a site you've never visited, it can easily longer (much longer) than 4 seconds, just to look up the DNS record.
  • I downloaded and read the whitepaper that is linked from that article. The summary is an obvious skewing of the actual findings to focus on Akamai's business. A couple key examples are: "Which of the following factors are most influential in your decision to continue shopping with an online store where you have shopped in the past? (Select all that apply.)" - 65% said good navigation, page load time was 8th of 13 with only 40%. "Typically, how long are you willing to wait for a single Web page to load
  • by Kjella (173770) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @12:46PM (#16770907) Homepage
    If I go to the front page of an online newspaper or similar site, I expect it to take long to load. If I click an article link, my patience is very thin because my target is simple article text, possibly with an illustration. Same with an online store. Also, there's a few tricks that lets the browser render it before it's loaded all the items - for example setting an image's height and width attributes. Not everyone has learned that yet. Also it depends on how much meaningful content there's on a page. If I have to visit a [break] new [break] page [break] for [break] every [break] sentence, I'm a lot less patient than if you just load it in one big honking page that I can scroll.

    In short, measuring cost (time) without measuring benefit (content) is meaningless. If google's search page took four seconds to load, they'd be a dead duck. Other pages couldn't be rendered in four seconds with a Core 2 Quad and GigE, but are still highly successful. The pages you want to check is where the user asked you for something specific, in which case you'd better deliver ASAP without crapping up the page with everything he didn't ask for. Pages that are slow, I can live with. Pages that are slow, deliver little and waste time on meaningless stuff I don't.
  • The reason for this is that Surfers attention span is also about four seconds, so if the page takes longer to load, they forget what they where doing...

  • by melted (227442) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @01:15PM (#16771453) Homepage
    Not to argue that nothing on the web should take more than 4 seconds to load (on _second_ load), but notice who sponsored the study - Akamai. It's like if Microsoft sponsored a study "proving" that Linux sucks.

    Caching is your friend. If you cache, don't forget to version your stuff as well:

    <script src="foo.js?d=md5sum-of-the-script"></script>

    And do this with everything you cache - css, xml, xsl, whatever.

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