The color grading, resolution and fashion seems so dated. But, it’s not fair to lump Nielsen’s research in that same bucket, of “so dated”. The 3 important limits he writes about are human limits. It is dictated by biology, not technology. Our fashion may have evolved since 1993, but people are still people. Here are the 3 limits Jakob published:
- 0.1 second is near the limit for having the user feel that the system is reacting instantaneously.
- 1.0 second is near the limit for the user's flow of thought to stay uninterrupted, even though the user will notice the delay.
- 10 seconds is the limit for keeping the user's attention focused on the dialogue. For longer delays, users will want to perform other tasks while waiting for the computer to finish.
These numbers provide guideposts for what is acceptable and what isn't on websites.
In 2017, our culture is obsessed with speed. We drive fast cars, eat at quick-serve restaurants and cook instant rice. We want everything now. Coupled with our increasing lack of attention, it is safe to say that waiting is not our strength. When it comes to websites, speed matters. This applies to how quickly content loads and how fast the website reacts to a user’s action. There are a couple ways we can address slow websites. We can look at the technical aspects that effect the speed of the website. There are lots of technical reasons why a website can be slow.
- Server performance
- Server location
- Too many server requests
- Tons of traffic
- Super large images
- Graphics that contain text
- Outdated file formats
- Dense code
- Too many plugins
- Outdated CMS
After reading that list, if you thought, "we can’t change servers/platforms," you’re not alone. While they contribute to the speed of a website, they are more involved to manage or change depending on your companies structure, policies, contractual agreements and your skillset. Let’s focus on two elements in that list that are easier to impact. They are the images and code. By optimizing both we can reduce the amount of data the site needs to download. Thus, speeding up the experience. The second approach is to change the users perception of how long it is taking to load the content.