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The Human Aspect of Performance

The Human Aspect of Performance

The performance of a website affects the users of that website in ways that are hard to measure. The lack of responsiveness, lag, jank, and UI lock ups can cause perceptual dissonance that break the user’s flow of thought. A page not responding in the way the user expects, or as fast as the user expects it to, can result in frustration and anger.

From a business point of view, frustrated and angry users are unlikely to convert, and buy items from the site.

Apart from the psychological and emotional effects of bad performance, the factors that result in bad performance can also make sites expensive to use. How much bandwidth does your site require to be downloaded? How much does that bandwidth cost in different parts of the world? How expensive is your site in terms of battery usage?

Philip Tellis

May 22, 2019

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  1. Philip Tellis Principal RUM Distiller @ Akamai Author of the

    OpenSource boomerang RUM library twitter:@bluesmoon ⦿ github:@bluesmoon speakerdeck:@bluesmoon
  2. Performance is Usability Happy Users are good for Business •

    Is your site hurting your users? • How fast should your site be? • Is adding a new feature worth the performance cost? • Is improving performance worth the development cost?
  3. Factors Leading to Frustration or Rage • Wondering if anything

    is happening • Lack of responsiveness to interactions • Interaction Jank • Unreliable or unexpected responses
  4. A 500ms connection speed delay resulted in up to a

    26% increase in peak frustration and up to an 8% decrease in engagement. Tammy Everts – The impact of network speed on emotional engagement
  5. Expectation vs Reality • Smooth scrolling/animations • Clicking a link

    should make something happen • Click again with hope • Phone battery will last several hours • Jank or UI lockup • Dead or Missed Clicks are frustrating • !!! Rage clicking !!! • Here’s a beautiful CPU intensive animation that runs even when not visible on screen
  6. The average rise in mobile users' heart rates caused by

    delayed web pages — equivalent to the anxiety of watching a horror movie alone. Ericsson ConsumerLab neuro research 2015 38%
  7. And then there’s Negativity Bias Bad Experiences must be balanced

    with more intense Good Experiences https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negativity_bias
  8. Active Listening Can Help We can alleviate negative emotions simply

    by acknowledging that we’ve failed to meet the user’s expectations. https://uxdesign.cc/the-fastest-way-to-pinpoint-frustrating-user-experiences-1f8b95bc94aa https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhcs.2004.01.002
  9. How much does it cost to use your site? •

    Data charges can make a site expensive to visit • Each GB of data transfer utilizes 1.6KWh of energy on the client • Heavy use of CPU can increase runtime costs https://whatdoesmysitecost.com — Tim Kadlec https://aceee.org/files/proceedings/2012/data/papers/0193-000409.pdf
  10. A Faster Site might appear slower in aggregate Very slow

    is sometimes better than not available at all! https://blog.chriszacharias.com/page-weight-matters
  11. ...And it’s not just the slowest Users It's amazing how

    inconsistent cell networks can be, even in one of the most densely populated areas of the US. Max: 3 seconds (!!!!!) Median: 150ms Min: 100ms Katie Hempenius @katiehempenius 13 Sep 2018
  12. Anyone need to Plug In? • 28% perf degradation in

    Battery Saver mode • 75% increase in Long Task time on lower powered devices • Frame rate reduced from 16fps to 10fps Apollo Sauroctonus / Praxiteles / Le Louvre
  13. Device Capabilities • The average selling price of mobile devices

    in the largest markets is $150 • Even in the US, it’s around $340 • The average consumer isn’t using the latest iPhone, Pixel or Galaxy • Test on lower end devices like the Alcatel Go Phone Art at Davis Square by skunkadelia
  14. • Ask the user • Bounce / Conversion Rate /

    LD 50 • Rage Clicks / Cursor Thrashing / Wild Mouse • Facial analysis • Wireless Brain Interface Methods of measuring Emotion (with JavaScript)
  15. Rage Clicks occur when users rapid-fire click (or tap) on

    your site or app. Rage clicking is the digital equivalent of cursing to release frustration. https://www.fullstory.com/resources/guide-to-understanding-frustrating-user-experiences-online/ https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/hide-and-seek/201205/hell-yes-the-7-best-reasons-swearing Rage Clicks
  16. People who are angry are more likely to use the

    mouse in a jerky and sudden, but surprisingly slow fashion. People who feel frustrated, confused or sad are less precise in their mouse movements and move it at different speeds. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/12050481/Websites-could-read-emotions-by-seeing-how-fast-you-move-your-mouse.html https://conversionxl.com/blog/user-frustration/ https://www.academia.edu/3085041/Patterns_of_cursor_movement_for_different_devices Cursor Thrashing/Wild Mouse
  17. Ask the User We do NOT do this either •

    Selection Bias • Hawthorne Effect • Intrusive action (boomerang is passive)
  18. User expectations are relative Make constant improvements relative to past

    performance Make yourself faster than your competitors
  19. LD 50 The Median Lethal Dose of your page or

    site indicates the point at which 50% of users decide to leave!
  20. Patience is also a cultural thing We found that users

    from different parts of the world have a different threshold for performance.
  21. Rank pages by their impact on conversions • What’s the

    correlation between various timers and potential for conversion? • What about error rate, Rage Clicks, Cursor Thrashing or Wild Mouse?
  22. 1.3× We don’t know why, but users expect your page

    to be interactive at around 1.2-1.5× the visually ready time.
  23. Rage Clicks depend on Latency of Page Usability • Interacting

    with a page before onload OR interactive is the most common cause of Rage Clicks • Some Rage Clicks happen after the page is usable, possibly due to JavaScript errors or CPU intensive tasks; they could also be false positives. • In over 30% of cases, a page is interactive after onload fires, and in 15% of cases, users try interacting between onload and interactive. Data collected and analysed with boomerang and Akamai mPulse
  24. Data collected and analysed with boomerang and Akamai mPulse Rage

    Clicking is fairly consistent if first Interaction is before the page becomes Interactive Steady drop off if first Interaction is after the page becomes Interactive Rage Clicks are most likely if first Interaction is just before onload, possibly because DOM Ready event handlers are hogging CPU. (This is true even if the page becomes Interactive before onload)
  25. Rage Clicks as a Function of First Interaction & Visually

    REady Data collected and analysed with boomerang and Akamai mPulse
  26. References • Computer Rage on Wikipedia • The Psychology of

    Computer Rage • A third of Americans confess to verbal or physical abuse of their computers • Computer Rage affects more than half of Britons • Social and Psychological Influences on Computer User Frustration • The impact of network speed on emotional engagement • Ericsson ConsumerLab neuro research 2015 • Negativity Bias on Wikipedia • The fastest way to pinpoint frustrating user experiences • The 7 best reasons for swearing • Emotional Design • https://whatdoesmysitecost.com • The Ethics of Web Performance • The Megawatts behind Your Megabytes: Going from Data-Center to Desktop • Page Weight Matters • Improving UX through Front End Performance • Guide to understanding frustrating user experiences online • Toward a more civilized design: studying the effects of computers that apologize • Websites could read emotions by seeing how fast you move your mouse • Your users are frustrated • Patterns of cursor movement for different devices • Akamai mPulse CrUX Benchmarking