4 seconds is all it takes. New research looking at first impressions of e-commerce sites found that users make their mind up about the site within 4 seconds, which is half the time it took in a few years ago. As connection speed increases, so does people expectations. No longer are you prepared to wait for a page to load. And a slow load time does not just colour your perceptions of the website, it changes your perception of the company as a whole.
One complication that I have found is that the visions of an ‘advertising creative’ are far easier to create on a website – Flash can do so much to make it look like a commercial. But the stark technical issues – that it looks good but is huge, takes a long time to load and then does very little – is something that is a far harder reality to get over. ‘Static’ pages are still good! I like this research, more evidence to move the creatives away from doing full flash only sites for everything.