Imagine you’re headed to a museum to see the hot new exhibit, and you have a choice between waiting in the longer regular line or the fast-moving VIP line. You’ll want to pick the shorter VIP line, of course. Meanwhile, if the regular line is too long, it might convince you to turn around and go home if it’s your only option. It’s the same with mobile speed.
Creating a fast and smooth mobile web experience keeps users engaged. Quick sites make people more likely to click through to more pages, reading further to consume more content.
When sites are fast, users engage more with content and ads. The net result: publishers can monetize their content and advertisers can achieve their brand goals.
Performance is a foundational aspect of good user experiences. When sites ship a lot of code, browsers must use megabytes of the user’s data plan in order to download the code. Mobile devices have limited CPU power and memory. They often get overwhelmed with what we might consider a small amount of un-optimized code. This creates poor performance which leads to unresponsiveness.
Knowing what we know about human behavior, users will only tolerate low performing applications for so long before abandoning them.
Poorly performing sites and applications can also pose real costs for the people who use them.
As mobile users continue to make up a larger portion of internet users worldwide, it’s important to bear in mind that many of these users access the web through mobile LTE, 4G, 3G and even 2G networks. As Ben Schwarz of Calibre points out in this study of real world performance, the cost of prepaid data plans is decreasing, which in turn is making access to the internet more affordable in places where it once wasn’t. Mobile devices and internet access are no longer luxuries. They are common tools necessary to navigate and function in an increasingly interconnected world.
Total page size has been steadily increasing since at least 2011, and the trend appears to be continuing. As the typical page sends more data, users must replenish their metered data plans more often, which costs them money.
In addition to saving your users money, fast and lightweight user experiences can also prove crucial for users in crisis. Public resources such as hospitals, clinics, and crisis centers have online resources that give users important and specific information that they need during a crisis. While design is pivotal in presenting important information efficiently in stressful moments, the importance of delivering this information fast can’t be understated. It’s part of our job.