The Psychology of Waiting

Understand the psychology behind waiting and how this impacts the performance of your website.

You understand what performance testing tools to use and what metrics to consider. But, have you ever asked yourself - what is the psychology behind waiting, and how this impacts web performance?

As humans, we have been exposed to a lot of waiting times. At a very young age, we've been taught to wait for our turn when we want to play with a toy being shared. As adults, we face long queues when buying the latest iPhone. This extends virtually, primarily when you're trying to buy a ticket to see Blink-182 only to find out that there are at least 20,000 people ahead of you. Regarding performance testing talks, we often hear about what it is, the tools that can help you, and the critical metrics to consider.

However, it's equally important to understand the why. Studies show that users value website performance over design, yet most companies will spend much time making their websites look beautiful. It's also been proven numerous times that slow websites irritate us, but why does slow response time annoy us? We also know that for users to have an enjoyable user experience, a website has to load between 1-2 seconds, but why do we need it to load quickly?

In this talk, I want to take a step back and explore the psychology of waiting and how it relates to web performance. As testers, we must test the system just like our end users. So, it's crucial to understand why page speed matters to deliver a product closer to our users' needs. Apart from the actual page speed, you must also understand that users have subjective perceptions of performance, which can impact your website's speed.

At the end of this talk, you'll have an overview of the different human factors that can affect the performance of your application as well as recommendations and tips you can share with your team on making websites faster, both on the objective and subjective performance measures.

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25-minute Talk

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12:45 a.m. – 1:15 a.m. Track 3

25-minute Talk

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25-minute Talk

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