Are there any usability studies or objective data to determine what a good time duration would be for skipping back or skipping forward for users listening to audio on the web? This assumes there would only be one button for skip backwards and one for skip forwards. 30 seconds? 10 seconds? 15 sections? 5 seconds?

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    Can't reference a study on this, but I'd recommend avoiding discrete intervals. Most audio / video players allow clicking and dragging to different points in the media in a way that makes the intervals seem continuous. Apr 26, 2017 at 15:38
  • Surely it depends on the density and importance of the content: something with low density and low importance (a TV sitcom for example) could have a 30 second skip but something with high density and high importance (a bomb disposal training video for example) might need a 10sec skip. Also, are users more likely to want to skip forward by large amounts and back by small amounts? - too many variables! Apr 26, 2017 at 15:39
  • I'm not aware of studies, but as @AndrewMartin says, the type of content is likely an important factor--e.g. people often use those buttons to skip ads in a podcast player, and ad reads or inserts are often a multiple number of minutes long, so a minute might be a reasonable value. While if it's a player that's mostly for radio-friendly music, chances are people aren't going to want to skip around much within the song at all, but just skip the whole song.
    – calum_b
    Apr 26, 2017 at 16:11
  • @WilliamAnderson - We have a draggable scrubber but the client also wants a skip back and a skip forward button where the skip is a number of seconds that feels intuitively wrong to me and wanted to see if there were any best practices. Apr 26, 2017 at 21:05
  • @AndrewMartin - Great points! Our use-case is audio content on an NPR affiliated websites, so some NPR radio shows and the audio associate with each story. Apr 26, 2017 at 21:07

1 Answer 1


I ran a usability test on a video player once and I learned two things:

  1. Make the rewind shorter ( 5 or 10 seconds). Users said things like : "Oh, I missed this part I was not paying attention" and they had to quickly rewind to see it again
  2. Make the skip forward faster (15 or 20 seconds). Users either saw those parts before or were not interested and wanted to get to another section of the video quicker.

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