In 90 Seconds

Elliotte Rusty Harold muses whether the 90 second rule applies to cases beyond shopping.

Taking care of a customer in two minutes is a success; doing it in three minutes is a failure.

People subconsciously exaggerate the time when they wait for more than 90 or so seconds. And this exaggeration is an indication of not so happy customer, one who feels that it is taking too long and that he/she is not getting enough attention or value for their time. Elliotte illustrates a case where this can apply to traffic signal timers too.

Elliotte mentions the four-second rule that is used as a benchmark to measure response time of a web site. Could the 90 second rule be applied for better analysis? Could it be used to build a scale for quality of the web site? I always wonder whether there will be qualitative measures along with the quantitative ones for the Web.

I have had opposite experiences when I am reading online. If I really like what I am reading I get engrossed so much that I lose track of time. My guess usually is on the lower side than the actual. However, the 90 second rule probably does kick in if I do not get pulled by any specific content. I wonder how can we use the 90 second rule for various factors of usability. What has been your experience when you visit web sites?

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Abhijit Nadgouda
iface Consulting
+91 9819820312
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