Slow websites make people angry

Stating the obvious, right? But I find that it’s easy to quote the well-known Aberdeen Group study and say “A one-second delay in page load time equals a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction” without thinking about the reality of that customer dissatisfaction.

So, inspired by Duncan McDougall’s recent post about searching “slow site” on Twitter to see what came up, I decided to have a go at it myself:

“Am staring at the HMRC website. It’s like staring into the abyss. Suspect hell is akin to waiting for a very slow website to load and crash.”
“Is it just me or is The Sims 3 Website like really freaking SLOW!!!! WTF EA, get some faster servers”
“Sprint’s “new” website is running so slow i feel like im running on a 14k modem.. so prehistoric stuff here..”
“Tmobile’s website reminds me of Dial Up Modems, so slow. #FAIL”
“Virgin Mobile’s site blows, mad slow and glitchy.”
“foursqure website damn slow #foursqure”
“@gizmodo @lifehacker I just had to unsubscribed from your news feeds. The new site design is too slow to load.”
“The website is horribly SLOW! It should not be allowed to have such a slow site in 2011! #notimpressedatall”
“Wonder if Verizon’s website is so slow because they charge themselves so much for data?”
“Why is Gmail so sluggish today? It’s almost as slow as using the MobileMe website. And that’s saying a lot!”
“Warning: The Smithsonian site is slow as molasses. >_>;”
“Jesus. The @WHSmithcouk website is super slow. I guess I’ll just go in-store and hunt for what I want ;l”
“Is the Borders website slow because my Internet is slow or because it’s facing imminent death? (Either way this makes me sad)”
“Hey @GoDaddy, how do I know when my site, hosted by you is slow? It’s when my 93 yr. old Grandma can get the job done on her abacus faster.”

Slow websites make people frustrated and angry. We all know this. But it never hurts to get a real-world reminder.

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11 thoughts on “Slow websites make people angry

  1. Angry for sure. Are there any more up-to-date studies available? Aberdeen’s study is pretty much 3 years old.

  2. My favourite one is the Foviance/CA study where they hooked people up to a ECG measure to measure their brainwaves to see how stressful slow website really are… and the answer was “a lot”.

    The study can be found here – “Web Stress” –

    I used it in my Web Performance 101 talk at the London Web Performance Meetup group (presentation here –

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  4. Now we can see that those e-commerce companies do not really care about their website’s speed and their customers.

    Thank god I am different. Very nice post.

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  6. tried booking a ticket for a collegue; after 2 attempts & crashes gave up. Waited & checked all evening & following morning to make sure I hadn’t been charged as I’d got to the paying part… could have driven the 1200k quicker than the time it’s taken to book tickets. Guess that’s why Qantas get most of my business…

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