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End-Users' Web Experience Expectations Just Keep Getting Higher

People have high expectations. Web performance is no different. End-users expect fast and engaging web experiences. It doesn't matter if they use a PC, smartphone or tablet to interact with your web application. According to recent end-user research 89 percent of tablet, 59 percent of smartphone and 83 percent of PC users expect a website to load in 3 seconds or less. Now if we compare web performance expectations to the latest aggregate web page load times across smartphones and PCs it's not a pretty picture.

In addition just like we expect every new iPhone to be better, and every new Ferrari to be faster, our expectations for web performance just keep getting higher. In 2011, 71% of mobile users expected web pages to be as fast or faster than on a desktop -- up from 58% in 2009.

Philip Tellis summed up this rise in expectations nicely during a recent Velocity conference: "What delighted users a few years ago is now an expected baseline, the absence of which will frustrate."

To find out if web application delivery professionals also perceived this rise in end-user expectations Akamai commissioned Forrester Consulting to survey 210 US IT professionals across various industries. The resulting report entitled "Shifting Performance Strategies And Solutions For Mobile And Web Delivery" can be found here.

This is the second (the first - Is Web and Mobile Application Performance A Business Issue? You bet it is.) in a series of posts where we will take a deeper look at the key findings from the report.

When we asked IT professionals whether end-user's expectations were higher than three years ago the resounding answer was yes. It seems like expectations are rising for both internal and external audiences. Enterprise users are no longer willing to suffer through subpar and slow applications that might not function across the latest browsers and mobile devices. In addition both internal and external audiences not only expect faster web applications, but also richer experiences that evolve more often.

  • 74 percent of external and 73 percent of internal end-users expect faster web applications

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  • 76 percent of external and 64 percent of internal end-users expect richer web applications

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  • 61 percent of external and 60 percent of internal users expect web applications that are updated more frequently
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So what do these stats tell us?
External and internal users continue to expect richer and richer web applications that are constantly evolving. This usually equals more features, which equals more payload to deliver to the end-user's browser. But not only do end-users want richer more up to date experiences - they want apps that are fast - blazing fast.

In our next post we will cover why delivering quality experiences and blazing fast applications has become so difficult. In the meantime if you are interested in learning more download the report "Shifting Performance Strategies And Solutions For Mobile And Web Delivery" here.

Lorenz Jakober is a senior product marketing manager at Akamai

1 Comment

Lorenz your right people do expect to get fast action from their mobiles and PCs. That a really good article. Thanks.