Time (In Seconds) of page load, pdf load, etc.?

11 Jul 2011 - 11:59am
3 years ago
2 replies
2062 reads
aronoff
2010

Hi Everyone,

Is there a tried and true time (in seconds) of proper page load, link opening (say, opening and loading a pdf.) etc. that is the industry average? I realize that theres instances that are the exception. I'm trying to find a specific example that i can use as a UX benchmark to give to testers as a best practice.

Thank you all!
~Josh

P.S. If you could cite references that would be awesome. Cool

Comments

11 Jul 2011 - 12:01pm
aronoff
2010

Keep in mind, that we have instances of showing a feedback loop, on screen, of data etc. so this is an example of response time, in page load. So, it could either be, load page in full, or load partial load then display data as it's available.

11 Jul 2011 - 1:26pm
bjminihan
2010

I did a study on this subject about 4 years ago, while attempting to build a "standard page-load time" for my company (a rather large one, with several dozen enterprise development groups).  I started with Jakob's Alertbox that roughly approximated 8-10 seconds as the time at which people "tend to" think a page is unresponsive and potentially leave to find a better solution.

We initially enforced 8 seconds as the max page load time.  Unfortunately, that became the minimum, and many of our usability studies (over the next year) showed people couldn't stand how slow most of our systems were.

So we changed the standard to 4 seconds as the average, with 8 seconds being the absolute max.  The new standard wasn't embraced too well, but it was the right amount of time for almost everyone we studied.

Regardind dynamically loaded content, we had a provision in the standard that allowed for the initial page to load in 4 seconds or less, while additional (ajax) content could take 4 seconds on top of that, *as long as the user had some indicator explaining what was going on*. 

There was (and I think, still is) a reasonable assumption from people that if they know what's about to happen, and how long it should take, they are more acceptable to longer load times.  You just need to set their expectations. 

For example, if someone downloads a 40 page lab report from your web site, tell them the file is 17MB in the link, which app is used to read it (hopefully, PDF or something similar), or provide the file in smaller bites that load faster.

Of course, there are certain places you never want to make people wait:

  • Asking for money
  • Validating information they voluntarily gave you
  • Finding out how to contact you off the web

 

Don't know if the above is definitive enough for you, but (for what it's worth), some non-designer folks appreciate Jakob Niellsen's Alertbox reports, even if they're sometimes oversimplified in practical application.

Bryan

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