The Psychology of Speed

The following is an extract from our book, Lean Websites, written by Barbara Bermes. Copies are sold in stores worldwide, or you can buy it in ebook form here.

Why do people leave a website? There could be many reasons, such difficulty finding what they are looking for. But there’s a good chance users leave a site because it feels too slow to load. In this section, I want to draw some attention to psychology, and how it plays a big role in our perception of speed and performance.

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What Is “Too Slow”, and When Do Websites “Feel” Slow?

As psychologist Jeremy Dean points out, time doesn’t fly when we are having fun. When do we experience fun? Clearly, it’s not when we have to wait. Who likes to wait, especially in this world of constant news and response? Nowadays, people desire instant satisfaction and have very little patience. Amazon offers one-day delivery; a cab shouldn’t take longer than ten minutes to arrive. We’ve become a society where waiting is not acceptable anymore especially when it comes to the online world. When we visit websites, if we don’t get an instant response, a competitor’s site is just a click away.

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Source: Sitepoint