Research

A Study on Tolerable Waiting Time: How Long Are Web Users Willing to Wait?

Web users often face a long waiting time for downloading Web pages. Although various technologies and techniques have been implemented to alleviate the situation and to comfort the impatient users, little research has been done to assess what constitutes an acceptable and tolerable waiting time for Web users. This research reviews the literature on computer response time and users’ waiting time for download of Web pages, and assesses Web users’ tolerable waiting time in information retrieval. It addresses the following questions through an experimental study: What is the effect of feedback on users’ tolerable waiting time? How long are users willing to wait for a Web page to be downloaded before abandoning it? The results from this study suggest that the presence of feedback prolongs Web users’ tolerable waiting time and the tolerable waiting time for information retrieval is approximately 2 seconds.

Publication Information
Article Title: A Study on Tolerable Waiting Time: How Long Are Web Users Willing to Wait?
Journal: Behavior and Information Technology (2004)
Vol. 23, No. 3, pp. 153-163
Author(s): Nah, Fiona Fui-Hoon
Researcher Information