How Slow Pages Hurt: The Entire User

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How Slow Pages Hurt the Entire User
the neurological impact
of poor performance

Tammy Everts
RWD Summit – April 2014

It’s a mobile-first world. 55% of all time spent on retail sites takes place on a mobile device.

comScore, October 2013

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Stuart McMillan, Schuh’s Journey to RWD (Conversion Conference 2013)
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Four all-too-common mobile assumptions

Assumption #1

My site isn’t slow on mobile.

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Radware, 2013 State of the Union: Mobile Ecommerce Performance
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Radware, 2013 State of the Union: Mobile Ecommerce Performance
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Two things are slowing down your site for mobile (and they’re completely beyond your control).
• Latency – can range from 35 milliseconds to 350+ milliseconds per resource (e.g. images,
CSS files)
• Connection – 3G can be up to 15 times slower than broadband
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RWD is awesome, but it *can* come with performance penalties.

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Assumption #2

Mobile users expect pages to be slow.

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Keynote, 2012 Mobile User Survey
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Assumption #3

Mobile users want to browse, not buy.

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By 2017, retail mcommerce is expected to hit
$113 billion –
26% of total ecommerce sales.

eMarketer, September 2013
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Mobile shopping cart abandonment rate is 39% greater than desktop rate.

2013 Google I/O
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Assumption #4

Users will stick around, even if pages are slow, if they really want to buy.

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Skava/Harris Interactive, 2013

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Case study: The impact of HTML delay on mobile business metrics
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Why neuroscientific mobile testing? Slide 20

• 2010 EEG study of desktop users • Throttled connection from
5MB to 2MB
• Found that participants had to concentrate up to 50% harder • Afterward, participants reported negative brand associations Slide 21

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What is emotional engagement research?

“95% of the consumer’s decisions are made at the subconscious level.”
Dr. Gerald Zaltman, Harvard UniversityExecutive Committee of Harvard
Mind, Brain and Behavior Interfaculty Initiative

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The problem with surveys… Traditional research relies on eliciting postcognitive responses.
But thinking and talking about emotions changes and distorts them.

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Five benefits of neuroscientific testing 1

Evaluates think/feel (not say)
Quantified data
Moment-by-moment interaction
Cause-and-effect triggers
Fresh, deeper insights

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EEG Emotional Engagement

Our research team
• Seren – leaders in customer experience & service design • NeuroStrata – expert consultants in blending neuromarketing applications
• Neurosense – global leader in implicit methodologies Slide 29

The brands we tested

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Our testers
• 24 testers (12 male and 12 female)
• Pre-screened to ensure normal cognitive functioning • Experienced mobile device users
• Did not know they were part of a performance study Slide 31

• Standardized set of shopping tasks (browsing and checkout) • Testers served sites over one of two speeds:
– normal Wifi
– artificial 500ms delay

• Using EEG headset and eyetracker, measured moment-by-moment responses

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Why test a 500ms delay?

Case study: The impact of HTML delay on mobile business metrics
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We focused on the metrics most affected by the
500ms delay.

Emotional engagement

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Normal speed




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Frustration levels across sites (normal speed) Slide 38

Engagement levels