Why Performance Matters: The Perception of Time

Developers, by nature, are multitaskers. Multi-tasking by itself bends time and manipulates the perception of the viewer. When developing websites, it is important to keep time in mind. In fact, time is one of the single most defining aspects of any website in the eyes of a visitor. Here’s a brief look at how time impacts web performance and what you as a developer can do about it.

How Time Impacts Performance

Time can be viewed at an objective stance or from a psychological one. Time that can be measured with a clock is objective time. Time that is measured exclusively by perception is psychological time. When we speak of web performance and how it’s viewed by visitors, we are referring to psychological or ‘brain time’.

To optimize performance in regards to brain time, you have to consider delivery speed, feedback response, and page load times. To do this, the best developers come up with a performance budget. The performance budget sets a limit on time for each page and if the page exceeds that amount, changes are made immediately. How quickly you respond to user inquiries and how quickly your web page loads directly impacts how your website is viewed by visitors and search engines.

According to one recent survey, it takes only 3 seconds for a visitor to leave a website if the page doesn’t load. Another interesting piece of data showed that when superstore Walmart improved their web performance by one second they experienced a 2% increase in conversions. Clearly, time and performance matter and directly affect your bottom line.

Put simply, users want the information they came to your website for and they want it rather quickly. If your website is slow moving, your response times are dismal, and the delivery of your services is lack luster than so will your traffic be. Put 2 and 2 together and analyze your time performance for better web development.

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