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  1. #1
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    8 second rule - where are the studies?

    I have heard for some time of the "8 second" rule where studies have been done that after a web user waits more than 8 seconds, they tend to start multitasking and often will click away. I have also heard that with current B2B web-applications, that time is now 5 seconds or less.

    However, I have not found any actually studies to confirm or deny this information. Some engineers I have talked to believe the numbers to be more like 15-20 seconds.

    Can anyone point me to any studies, reports, surveys, or anything else that has some real data on what performance targets should be strived for?

    Thanks

    ------------------
    David Genrich
    Blackhog
    932 Hamlin Court
    Sunnyvale, CA 94089
    dgenrich@blackhog.com

    [This message has been edited by davidg (edited 04-12-2001).]

  2. #2
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    Re: 8 second rule - where are the studies?

    I found that the "8-second rule" was first surfaced by the Zona Market Report in an article titled The Need for Speed. However, to get a copy of that report will cost $895

    I have found several other reports, but I need to read through them to determine if the information is of use or not. I'll post links here to the ones that are useful.



    ------------------
    David Genrich
    Blackhog
    932 Hamlin Court
    Sunnyvale, CA 94089
    dgenrich@blackhog.com

  3. #3
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    Re: 8 second rule - where are the studies?

    Hi David,

    I've seen the "8 second" rule in numerous articles, but they always seem to point back to the original study done by Zona circa Mid 1999.

    Obviously, not everyone will abandon a Web site after 8 seconds, nor will everyone wait 8 seconds. A lot depends on what the site is offering. For example if the user is waiting to see their online back statement, they may be prepared to hang around a while because there's only one Web site that can provide this kind of information, on the other hand if all they want is a quick stock quote, there are plenty of online brokers who offer this service.

    I'd suggest you not spend too much time (or money) with generic industry surveys, but instead focus on the abandonment rates that your site currently experiences (and hence gauge your users tolerance level), these values can be estimated by reviewing your Web logs using a log analyzer.

    Hope this helps?
    Steve


    ------------------
    Steve Splaine
    Lead Author "The Web Testing Handbook".
    http://bdonline.sqe.com
    Steve Splaine
    Lead Author: Testing Web Security & The Web Testing Handbook
    www.qalinks.com/cgi-bin/links/jump.cgi?ID=1135
    www.qalinks.com/cgi-bin/links/jump.cgi?ID=447
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  4. #4
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    Re: 8 second rule - where are the studies?

    I agree with Steve. These industry statistics should be used as general guidelines. Every application and even parts of applications will have their own unique requirements. In general, the more time and effort visitors invest in interacting with the application (including in their first visit), the more they are willing to forgive some delays. (this, of course, does have its limits).

    Therefore, an analysis of your own applicatio/site will give an idea of the pages that are required to load fast.

    Ravi
    Atesto Technologies

  5. #5
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    Re: 8 second rule - where are the studies?

    For the most part, the average surfer will wait about 8 seconds before losing interest. I have seen requirements from customers on a B2B site requiring less than 5 second response times for 95% of the transactions doing a catalog search while under heavy load. In B2B it usually depends on what the customer wants which will dictate the product specifications. If you do a little searching in the forum, you will find a link to an IBM document that talks about scalablity issues.

    ------------------
    -- Mike --
    -- Mike --

  6. #6
    Moderator Joe Strazzere's Avatar
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    Re: 8 second rule - where are the studies?

    There is no "average surfer".
    In my family alone, we have 3 distinct types:
    - technically proficient professional
    - inexperienced non-technical user
    - teenage power surfer

    None of these will have the same tolerance for delays in pages.

    To get any meaningful "rules" for your site you need to think long and hard. Who is the user? What equipment do they use? What connection speed?

    Of course, if accuracy in your "rule" is not important - go with 8 seconds. It's as good a number as anything else.

    ------------------
    - Joe (strazzerj@aol.com)
    Joe Strazzere
    Visit my website: AllThingsQuality.com to learn more about quality, testing, and QA!

  7. #7
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    Re: 8 second rule - where are the studies?

    Try to look for the article from the Gartner Group. I seem to remember seeing something on their website about it. EWeek's website may have something as well. Good Luck. www.gartner.com www.eweek.com

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    Don Powell
    Q/A Center C/S
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    Don Powell

  8. #8
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    Re: 8 second rule - where are the studies?

    If you interesting in 8 seconds rule and additional information related to that issue
    you should visit next link:
    http://www.zonaresearch.com/delivera...wp17/index.htm



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  9. #9
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    Re: 8 second rule - where are the studies?

    my personal view is to test a site running from a 56K modem which is still the majority. We have T1's at work but i think it will be misleading for use as a reference.

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  10. #10
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    Re: 8 second rule - where are the studies?

    Bear in mind that Zona's research shows 8s is the time for a 56k modem, not a LAN / T1. Their studies show that you need to reduce the max time for faster networks. While "The Need for Speed" is charged for, the follow-up paper "The Need for Speed II" is freeley available as a PDF from their site. Well worth reading, as it shows that 8s is not arbitrary, as well as other human factors that apply as response time lengthens.

    Phil
    VP Product Marketing
    http://www.open.com
    Real time threat correlation and security management

 

 
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