World-Wide User Experience Survey: Higher Tolerance For Slow-Loading Web Pages; But Not For Mobile

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Visiting a fast-loading website with fresh, updated content is the most important aspect of a positive web experience for half of the respondents to a world-wide survey conducted by content delivery platform Limelight Networks, Inc.

The survey data from Limelight’s “2015 State of the User Experience” report indicates that somehow web users seem to have developed more patience for slow-loading websites. The survey revealed that 52% of survey participants were willing to wait more than five seconds for a web page to load, while just 12 months ago only 41% was willing to wait more than 5 seconds. 

Mobile Page Load Times

The survey results also indicate that many web users are expecting a website to operate faster on their desktop than on a mobile device, perhaps as a result of the growing adoption of broadband Internet access. On the question whether they would be willing to wait longer for a website to load on a laptop or desktop versus a mobile device only 35% of the respondents said they would be willing to wait longer for a web page to load on a mobile device (as compared to 44% just 12 months ago). 26% said they would wait longer for a web page to load on their desktop computer (as compared to 15% 12 months ago). Nearly 40% of the survey respondents expect equally fast-loading sites, regardless whether the web page is accessed from a mobile device or a laptop/desktop.

The lower tolerance for slow-loading web pages on mobile devices has also caught the attention of Google, Apple and Facebook. To address the need of publishers struggling to get their content to load faster on mobile devices, Facebook launched in May of this year “Instant Articles” for iPhone (Android is planned before the end of the year) where publishers host their content directly on Facebook to get a speed increase. Apple, with the Apple News app in iOS 9, and Google, with AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), have similar technologies that offer the same benefit. Google Accelerated Mobile Pages focusses primarily on web-based content.

Slow-loading Ecommerce Websites

One-third of survey participants indicated that they would leave an ecommerce website to buy a product from a competitor if the website loaded too slowly. Last year, when responding to a similar survey, 37% said they would not tolerate slow-loading web pages. In addition, 72% said they would be willing to give a slow-loading ecommerce website another try in the future, up 69% from a similar 2014 survey.

Personalization

The survey reveals that interest in a personalized website experience is rising. 43% of the respondents wanted a website to remember them from a previous visit. That is up 16% from a similar survey 12 months ago. Still, 25% of the survey participants indicated that they did not want a personalized experience when visiting websites. This is down from a last year’s survey when 37% said they did not want a personalized website experience.

Website user experience