A 100ms target

Conversion is important, you could have the most amazing web site but if it doesn’t achieve its goal, then its not a success.

So what impacts conversion ?  One of the books that interested me was Time Is Money: The Business Value of Web Performance Paperback”, it provided some human reasons why slow web sites impact conversion and despite its reviews on Amazon, it has some interesting studies that Tammy the author carried out.

One item which interested me was a comparison of web site page performance with human conversation/interaction.

As a human, we talk to each other, if someone doesn’t reply to our conversations we take this as a lack of interest, and lose interest in continuing the conversation.

The same occurs with our interactions with web sites.  Our brains expect fast responses (a response within 100ms) , if latency is introduced our attention is less, and this lack of interest subconsciously impacts conversion.

Interestingly google’s target for providing response was quoted as “about 100ms”, I doubt this is a co-incidence.

For sites to engage with users it needs to be focused on the customer (consumer-centric), personalised, and providing the customer wants, not what we may want to push to the user.

In a world where micro moments occur every day (especially on mobile), our consumers will only wait for so long to find the content they expect, it’s important that we land users successfully, providing the content they’re interested in.

Techniques exist to achieve this, such as only loading whats being shown on screen, modular (client side) loading. Compressing and optimising all your assets (Images, scripts). Pre-loading assets on earlier pages, using spinners/animations where pages need more time.

Its essential to use technology wisely. Consider the above when you embark on your next project, and monitor your bounce rate and sources closely.

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