Tammy Everts

Mobile Web Stress: Understanding the Neurological Impact of Poor Performance

Date: This event took place live on September 04 2014

Presented by: Tammy Everts

Duration: Approximately 60 minutes.

Cost: Free

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By now, most of us have internalized the fact that slow pages hurt mobile user metrics — from bounce rate to online revenues to long-term user retention. At Radware, we wanted to understand the neuroscience behind this, so we engaged in the first documented study of the neurological impact of poor performance on mobile users.

Based on similar research performed on desktop users, our study involved using a groundbreaking combination of eyetracking and electroencephalography (EEG) technologies to monitor brain wave activity in a group of mobile users who were asked to perform a series of online transactions via mobile devices.

In our study, participants were asked to complete standardized shopping tasks on four ecommerce sites while using a smartphone. We studied participants during these tasks, both at the normal speed over Wifi and also at a consistently slowed-down speed (using software that allowed us to create a 500ms network delay). The participants did not know that speed was a factor in the tests; rather, they believed that they were participating in a generic usability/brand perception study.

From the data, we were able to extract measures of frustration and emotional engagement for the browsing and checkout stages of both the normal and slowed-down versions of all four sites. We applied brain wave and behavioral analysis to identify and measure:

  • Naturally occurring peaks and troughs for user frustration and emotional engagement throughout the transaction process, regardless of latency.
  • Correlation and quantification of the relationship between artificial slowdowns and brain activity.
  • At which points in the transaction process participants are more vulnerable to the impact of poor performance, and at which points they are less vulnerable.
  • Long-term impact of "web stress", even after the transaction is complete and participants have stepped away from the mobile device.
  • Anecdotal feedback from participants.
  • We then compared our findings to earlier "web stress" research performed on desktop users to note commonalities and discrepancies.

Your takeaway from this webcast will be a deeper understanding of the impact of performance on mobile users, plus hard data that you can use to make a case for investing in mobile performance in your organization.

About Tammy Everts

Performance evangelist at Radware. I inhale data. I exhale reports, blog posts, and random tweets.

Twitter: @tameverts - Website: https://www.webperformancetoday.com

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