How users perceive speed improvements

Ben Finney bignose-hates-spam at
Fri Jun 27 03:13:17 CEST 2003

On Thu, 26 Jun 2003 18:26:58 -0700, achrist at wrote:
> This is a funny thing.  IBM has done some studies

Cite, please.

> that showed that users do prefer faster programs, but only 25% faster.
> If a program runs more than 25% faster than what they are used to,
> users don't like it.

I suspect the data would show they were studying a particular class of
program, and a particular class of user; the answer would only be
relevant to that scope.

We surely couldn't conclude that, if a web server became 60% faster in
completing its tasks, or if an interactive video game's refresh speed or
startup time became 60% faster, that "users [wouldn't] like it".

So, it's necessary to see the study to know what kind of software, and
what kind of users, were being studied; only then can we make
intelligent generalisations.

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