The Impact of Web Application Speed on User Experience

Web Application Speed Affects User Experience

9 Feb 2023

Jonathan Ward

Here's why performance matters when it comes to web applications. Page load times directly affect user engagement and satisfaction.

It’s well-known that having a fast-loading speed affects a website’s success. But what about web applications? How does increased speed improve the user experience? Performance matters when it comes to web applications, as page load times directly affect user engagement and satisfaction.

Web Application Performance Affects User Interest

Performance is an important metric when it comes to the usability of web applications. Speed is a key factor that determines whether customers will use an application or abandon it.

Imagine if popular web applications such as Google Drive, Slack, and others experienced slow loading times- would you still be using them? Probably not, right? Such performance issues can quickly erode usage and user engagement.

If you’re still not convinced about the difference that a few seconds make, consider these statistics about web applications:

  • Kissmetrics found that 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.
  • For Amazon, a slowdown of just one second of page load time cost the company $1.6 billion in sales.
  • Walmart saw a 2% increase in conversion rates for every 1-second improvement in page load times.

These statistics all demonstrate what you probably already know. Users want their web applications to work fast and immediately and they won’t stick around if you can’t deliver.

The Appearance of a Fluid Experience

Speed is crucial for web applications when it comes to conversions. It is also crucial for creating the impression of a fluid user experience.

As a result, there is also a psychological factor that influences how consumers perceive the quality of your online application.

According to a Google study, online apps offer page loads in less than 100 milliseconds, which is the time it takes for information to be stored in the brain’s occipital lobe, sometimes known as the “memory store,” as a sensory memory.

You may give the impression that your web application responds instantly to their activities by keeping page load speeds to under 100 milliseconds.

Users may notice a lag if your web application doesn’t respond in under 100 milliseconds since the link between action and reaction will have broken.

On the other hand, visitors will become impatient and irritated if a page load slowly for more than ten seconds, making it more challenging for them to focus on your online application. As a result, regardless of the material it provides, your web application is judged to be of low quality.

Despite this, there are times when it’s not possible for your web application to respond within 100 milliseconds. In order to keep the user’s attention, your web application should in this situation give them some kind of notification that the action is ongoing.

Slow Loading Web Applications Lead To “Web Stress”

In a study conducted at Glasgow Caledonian University, it was shown that participants’ agitation levels increased and their ability to concentrate was impaired when web pages loaded slowly during an online transaction.

Further brain wave research showed that study participants had to focus up to 50% harder on slow-loading web pages. It was discovered using behavioural analysis and EOG technologies that the participants had higher levels of agitation and tension.

Unfortunately, people are unable to influence how their sensory memory reacts. No matter how you justify the lengthy loading times, consumers will feel frustrated with your online apps.

It is your responsibility to develop your web application such that it accommodates how people are hardwired to respond if you want the greatest outcomes.

Humans Favour Routines

We develop routines in our daily lives. Every day is a sequence of flows, from getting up to getting a cup of coffee and going to work, from which we rarely stray until we deliberately do.

Like how an anticipated change in one’s schedule is likely to result in stress, a web application that doesn’t behave as the user expects it to will also probably generate stress.

By providing a quick, fluid user experience, you let users create routines around the activities of your web application, allowing them to settle into consistent use patterns that will assist make using your web application part of their regular routines.

Delivering a Faster Web Application Experience Is Science

If anything, these findings reveal that there are some fascinating statistics behind human psychological response and web application performance. If you think that web application speed is only about outdoing the competition when it comes to performance, these findings show just how important web application speed is for increasing user engagement.

So, if you would like to learn more about how Reach Studios delivers maximum web application performance, then please contact us today and let’s have a chat about your project.

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