Online marketing has evolved from selling products to creating engaging experiences for consumers. New research shows that how long these experiences seem to last, however, depends on how rich the experience and time of recall (Ahn, Liu, and Soman 2009). The “memory marker” model helps explain this phenomenon and the time distortion that some people experience during and after immersive online flow experiences. Web developers need to balance the need to create rich online experiences with tolerable download times and scant distractions.
For his doctoral thesis at the University of Glasgow, Thiam Kian Chiew studied web page performance. As part of his research, Chiew explored the different factors that affect web page speed, testing and modeling the key components to web page download times. His findings are summarized below.
Web users form first impressions of web pages in as little as 50 milliseconds (1/20th of a second), according to Canadian researchers. In the blink of an eye, web surfers make nearly instantaneous judgments of a web site’s “visual appeal.” Through the “halo effect” first impressions can color subsequent judgments of perceived credibility, usability, and ultimately influence our purchasing decisions. Creating a fast-loading, visually appealing site can help websites succeed.