178

Jakob Nielsen wrote an article called Response times - 3 important limits. The basic advice regarding response times has been about the same for thirty years [Miller 1968; Card et al. 1991]. He wrote this in 1993: 0.1 second is about the limit for having the user feel that the system is reacting instantaneously, meaning that no special feedback is ...


166

I believe the reason users click repeatedly is because they are accustomed to anticipating an update every time they perform an action and the clicking allows to find out if there is an expected behavior from the app or at least some reaction which informs them about what they could do. Also this funny image might give an answer :) With regards to the ...


104

Here's another alternative: You mentioned you don't find the progress bar the most appealing, and it's taking up precious real estate. Would you consider a more compact preloader and success message that do not impact layout? Just as an example: I don't know if that particular example would fit your situation. But if you can achieve a more compact design,...


103

Not directly answering your question, but the trend I'm seeing seems to suggest that people are doing away with preloaders in favour of skeleton UI and progressive loading because of perceived performance, so I'm not even sure if using a preloader or a loading screen is even a modern design pattern anymore. Here's how a skeleton UI pattern looks like: On ...


86

There is a difference between a spinner and a progress indicator: a spinner only communicates the wait, a progress indicator (be it a progress bar or any other form going from 0 to 100%) communicates wait and progress. To communicate progress, exactness it is necessary. This is why those installation progress bars, stopping at 99% are so frustrating. ...


85

Accessory, not necessity The background should be an accessory, not a necessity. If the background weren't there, it shouldn't negatively affect usability. An example of a poorly designed website that uses the background as a necessity is Project Swole. Before the background is loaded, there is not enough contrast to read the text. When I access this site ...


83

To me, the basic logic is this: It's better to have a fast app than a slow app. While there are many studies that show that faster applications provide better UX, it seems pretty axiomatic to me. I mean, generally in life if we want something done, then we prefer it to be sooner than later (with the exception of various aesthetic and, um, other activities ...


76

Imagine you and I are talking to each other in the street. You've asked me if I have the time and with barely any hesitation I look at my watch and tell you. You don't give it a second thought. You then ask my if I can tell you directions to a decent coffee shop. Some options may occur: I instantly start reeling off a set of instructions I appear to be ...


70

You should not artificially delay how long a user must wait. Do not punish a rapid response by slowing them down to an "average". Let all queries complete naturally, for longer query times you may want to consider the following... Jakob Nielson did some research on wait times back in 1993. From "Response Times: The 3 Important Limits" - (1) 0.1 second is ...


57

People tend to think of their interface in physical terms. You think of a 'window' not a 'rectangle of lights on a matrix'. And so, when an application hangs, people revert to interacting with it in the way they might do with a physical object when it stops working. Shaking things seems to be the way that many people try to 'fix' a physical object that ...


49

For a wait as long as that, I would be reluctant to ask the user to wait at all. Consider showing them a result such as "Thank you, your form submission has been accepted and is being processed, you will be notified by [method of notification] once processing is complete. This is usually within [x] minutes" Now they can leave the form, or page, or whatever ...


46

I recently read something about this called Extinction Burst from the book You Are Not So Smart. Here is the chapter that I'm talking about and this is an excerpt from Wikipedia: Take, as an example, a pigeon that has been reinforced to peck an electronic button. During its training history, every time the pigeon pecked the button, it will have received ...


41

...would the shop designer want shoppers to enter and walk as quickly as possible between shelves, or rather design the route so that shoppers are encouraged to stop, look, turn, discover... etc? Your analogy is flawed. Even if I walk slowly through a grocery store, my eyes are taking in thousands of pieces of information at a time. I have a panoramic, ...


37

Scott Klemmer's rule of thumb is: Answer shorter than a second: No feedback Answer between 1 and 5 seconds: BusySpinner Answer longer than 5 seconds: Progress bar 10 seconds is a long time. You should bring feedback to the user before he/she naturally loses interest in what your software is doing and become frustrated that your software wasted ...


31

If we ask UX-guru Jakob Nielsen it's 10 seconds. Longer waiting times could get the user to leave the program/page and do other stuff in the meantime. Supposing that something has gone wrong also depends on the users anticipation on how long a certain task could possibly take and the kind of task itself. Original (1993): http://www.nngroup.com/articles/...


30

You should try performing A/B split testing to see which group of users is more productive. The first group will be denied coffee, but the application loads instantly. The second group will be given coffee while it loads. I would propose that the second group, despite the 8 minute delay will finish the days work first ;)


27

Absolutely in the yes camp on this. This is one important place that UX differes from UI, I think, because UI CAN focus on a particular page, how it looks, how it reacts. But the user EXPERIENCE is about more than one page. The fact that a pure UX designer cannot influence the technical solution is no excuse. Page load times as such may not be part of the ...


27

In windows at least, a window will only 'grey out' and have its title suffixed with (Not Responding) after it has received new messages in its queue. A build up of messages is how windows detects a busy UI thread. Speculatively, this may be why users do it on windows - to probe the system and assess if the application is frozen or the entire OS has frozen.


24

Think about what it means to be staring at that loading spinner: The user doesn’t want to do any of this. He has no interest in managing his utilities. It’s something he might have to do from time to time, but he’s hardly happy about it. This had better be a smooth experience. The system has failed. Few people go straight to support without a problem ...


23

There are many things you can do in such situation. Two obvious things that come to my mind: Provide some distracting animation (time goes faster when user is distracted, check the Foursquare's animation they've used in their iPhone app). Show some funny quote, interesting fact or tip that could be if not useful then just entertaining and appropriate in the ...


22

I would like to address this issue from two different perspectives: User experience and ethics. User Experience - From a UX point of view, slow load times = bad user experience. Users get irritated if they have to wait more than they think necessary. More than 10 secs, and the user will most probably lose all patience and leave. Jakob Nielsen studied this ...


21

Windows default double-click time is 500 ms (half a second) Reference http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/bb760404(v=vs.85).aspx


21

Instead of double clicking to finish, you could: Click the starting point to close the shape (assuming all shapes are closed in) Have a button nearby labeled "Finished" or "Close Shape" or "I'm Done" etc. that closes the shape If you aren't able to use the OS to detect double clicks, I'd avoid them altogether. I've seen people with disabilities have the ...


20

The general rule of thumb for usability is to start off with no feedback, but to then display some busy indicator after 200ms, and if the process normally takes 5 seconds or more to present a larger feedback element (usually with a time elapsed timer, but preferably not with a progress bar unless you're very sure how long it will take). If something is ...


20

When it comes to multicultural design Geert Hofstede's studies on cultural dimensions is a must read. Germans score high on uncertainty avoidance, which could lead to them to read everything and to be absolutely sure about everything before they start. From The Hofstede Centre: Germany is among the uncertainty avoidant countries (65); the score is on ...


19

You should not forget about page loading time. Load time is key factor in conversion from visitors to readers / users, and slow pages are extremely frustrating to work with. If the large image in question can't be replaced, you can mitigate the effects in five ways: Most of the background image in your new design is covered by your content. Why not just ...


19

I recommend implementing some kind of searching functionality. Dropdown-search hybrid elements are quite popular and a good way to solve this. Select2 is a commonly used javascript library for building such hybrid dropdowns.


19

It seems that you're already leaning towards the second option there, and I agree with you. Causing delays is better than creating complete frustration. Either way, users react differently to slow responset times, as Jakob nielsen puts it: Response-Time Limits The 3 response-time limits are the same today as when I wrote about them in 1993 (based ...


18

But of course, Yes! You can never ever underestimate the value of a good cup of coffee. You know for a fact that coffee is the number one most important thing in an office which could make the office worker succeed or fail, at least according to Baltimore Business Journal: The office coffee is more important than it seems … workplace experts say that ...


18

That really depends on the users and on what they are typing. Typing on a physical keyboard is significantly faster than on a touch device. So the question then is what the average WPM typing speed of the average user on your system is, and then work backwards from there. Let's say that it is 25 WPM. Typically a word is considered 5 characters long, so ...


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