Our society has become accustomed to instant gratification. We want things to happen immediately. Just like 90-second rice, we expect web pages to load instantaneously. The culprit behind this is largely our ever-shortening attention span. Because of this, developers are finding it more difficult to build with user experience in mind.
Does faster always mean better?
Now that we’re firmly in 2020, we’re experiencing increasingly faster internet speeds. 5G will soon be the norm and companies are already working on what’s to come. With this increasing speed comes increasing prices—and this doesn’t always mean money. In reality, we’re paying for increasing speeds with both our attention spans and our patience; both are having an impact on UX.
Blame instant gratification
Because we have grown to expect to get things delivered to us quicker (whether this is goods or information), we’re upset when a quick delivery isn’t an option. In reality, it’s really not your fault if you find it difficult to wait longer than 30 seconds for your web page to load. Within your genetic code lies a component that makes us all psychologically uncomfortable to deny ourselves anything.
On top of this, virtually the rest of the world has acquiesced to our desire to have anything at the speed of light. From food delivery services (bringing you more than just pizza and Chinese food) to 1-hour delivery for groceries and other goods, society is becoming increasingly conditioned to expect the things they order as quickly as possible.
Improving UX for shorter attention spans
With everything contributing to shortening attention spans, it can make it difficult to keep visitors on a website once they land there. Website loading delays will typically lead to visitors navigating away to a competitor site, often in only a few seconds. That said, it’s not impossible to keep visitors on a web page. Developers have an array of tools at hand to help boost consumer trust and increase user retention rates.
A good way to start to try increasing user retention rates is by utilizing the best SEO practices possible. Remember, however, that SEO isn’t the only way to help with website visibility. Research has proven that almost half of consumers expect the pages they visit to load in less than 2 seconds. Pages that take up to 3 seconds are typically abandoned in favor of those that load quicker.
When it all boils down, most people would probably choose to have a faster loading time and sacrifice their user experience. With the expectations that once 5G speeds fully roll out download speeds could be 100 to 1,000 times faster than we’re already experiencing, it’s likely that users will be satisfied. Let’s break those speeds down into an easier to understand unit.
At current speeds, it can take upward of 20 minutes to download a movie; however, if 5G speeds deliver what is promised, this time could shrink to only seconds. Likewise, latency is also expected to decrease as much as 5,000 percent. Some early 5G users are reporting they’ve experienced 99.99 percent reliability for their networks when their connected device utilizes a wider capacity.