Many years ago, my first role at AT&T Wireless was to reduce the download time of Media Net. In 2003 the avg download time was a whopping 15sec!! Back then we were still on 2.5G network with blistering speeds of 25kpbs, fast for the time. TMOUS had the fastest when comparing Operators, at 4.5sec, at the end of the day there were many reasons why AT&T was so slow, 1) Secure connections were somehow set to always on devices shipped from their OEMs (a PRD slip up), 2) caching wasn’t optimized on the server side, and 3) some network tweaking was done to speed up routing.
I’m pretty sure download speed continues to rank near the top when it comes to user experience. This Gomez release gives a great overview of who is fastest and who’s lagging. Obviously there needs to be a balance between experience and speed, but in this ADD world speed will win, any delay over 5sec I’m bored and I’m moving on to something new.
Impacts of a slow site:
- Negative reaction from users and brand association
- Users move on to a competitor’s site
- Perception that site is not as good as the competitor’s
- Last but not least, REVENUE, speed is directly related to monetization
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