Introducing Web App Speed: What Is It & Why Is It Important?

Web Application Speed

10 Nov 2022

Jonathan Ward

Speed is one of the most important metrics people use to assess the quality and performance of web application solutions today.

Internet users know that page load times affect website performance. At the same time, they understand that these factors affect the way they download and use web applications. Here are some of the reasons why speed matters when it comes to the performance of web applications.

What Is Web Application Speed?

Web application speed/performance refers to the quality and efficiency at which a Web application functions. Many factors can impact application performance, including bandwidth capacity, the number of users on a network, application protocols and coding, and attacks that exploit specific application vulnerabilities.

Web Application Speed Affects User Interest

When web application developers design a web application, the speed with which users can interact with it is one of the performance metrics they use to ensure that their web app is of high quality.  

Think about the web applications you use to conduct business each day. Do you ever expect a slow experience when you use those applications? Would you even consider using them again if they were slow?

Probably not, right?

If you’re still not convinced about the difference that a few seconds make, take a look at the following statistics:

  • According to Kissmetrics, 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
  • This same study also found that 40% of people abandon websites that take more than 3 seconds to load.
  • Walmart saw a 2% increase in conversion rates for every 1-second improvement in page load times.
  • For Amazon, a slowdown of just one second of page load time cost the company £1.4 billion in sales.
  • Conversion rates are 3x higher for eCommerce sites that load in 1 second.

This does a good job demonstrating what you probably already know: users want the applications they are working in to work fast, and they’ll fast “evict” the apps you are not meeting their expectations

Maintaining A Fluid Experience

When it comes to web application speed, speed isn’t only important for conversions, it’s also important for giving the appearance of a fluid experience.

As a result, there is a psychological dimension that plays into how users perceive your web application.

Google Research suggests that a web application that delivered page loads of less than one hundred milliseconds, which would be how long your Occipital lobe, or “memory store,” may store information as a sensory memory.

By limiting page load times to less than 100 milliseconds, you create the illusion that your web application delivers swift responses to the user’s actions. 

If your web application doesn’t respond within a 100-millisecond time target, the connection between action and reaction becomes broken, and users will notice this lag.

On the other hand, if a page takes 10 seconds to load, users will become frustrated and impatient, making it difficult for them to focus on your web application. Result: Your web application is classified as a low-quality application, no matter what content it provides.

However, in some cases, it is impossible for your web application to provide a response within 100 milliseconds. In this case, your web application should provide a hint to the user that the operation is in progress to maintain focus.

Slow Loading Web Applications Lead To “Web Stress”

A study conducted by Glasgow Caledonian University found that slowing down websites during online transactions led to increased anxiety and lower concentration in study participants.

Brainwave analysis also revealed that study participants were forced to focus 50% more of their attention on slow-performing websites. Behavioural analysis and EOG techniques also revealed that subjects experienced greater anxiety and stress.

Unfortunately, humans have no control over how their sensory memories respond. No matter how you explain slow load times, slow-loading web applications can stress your users.

If you want the best results, your job is to build your web application so that it works and aligns with how users respond.

People Prefer Routine

In our daily lives, we fall into a routine. From waking up to having a cup of coffee to going to work, every day is a set of routines that we don’t deviate from too often unless we do it intentionally.

 Just as expected changes during the day can lead to stress, so can web applications that don’t respond the way users think they do.

By providing a fast user experience, you can let your users build routines around your web application’s activities, trapping them in set usage patterns, which helps make your web application part of their regular routines.

Delivering A Faster Web App Experience Is Science

These results suggest that there are some interesting statistics behind human psychological responses and web application performance. If you think that web application speed is about beating the competition in terms of performance, these insights have shown how important web application speed is in driving user engagement.

If you would like to learn more about how Reach Studios can deliver maximum web application performance, please contact us today and let’s discuss your project!

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