The Psychology of Web Performance

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Marie Cruz's profile
Marie Cruz

Developer Advocate

The Psychology of Web Performance image
Talk Description
As humans, we have been exposed to a lot of waiting times. At a very young age, we've been taught to wait our turn when we want to play with a toy being shared. As adults, we face long queues when buying the latest iPhone. This extends virtually, imagine you're trying to buy a ticket to see Blink-182 only to find out that there are at least 20,000 people ahead of you.

Regarding performance testing talks, we often hear about what it is, the tools that can help you, and the critical metrics to consider. However, it's equally important to understand the why. Studies show that users value website performance over design, yet most companies will spend much time making their websites look beautiful. Slow websites irritate us and if you don’t get the information that you need within 10 seconds, you end up feeling dissatisfied. But why does it actually annoy us?

In this Talk, you will take a step back and explore the psychology of waiting and how it relates to web performance. As testers, we must test the system just like our end users. So, it's crucial to understand why page speed matters to deliver a product closer to our users' needs. Apart from the actual page speed, you must also understand that users have subjective perceptions of performance, which can impact your website's speed.

At the end of this Talk, you'll have an overview of the different human factors that can affect the performance of your application. Plus recommendations and tips you can share with your team on making websites faster for both objective and subjective performance measures.

What you’ll learn

By the end of this talk, you'll be able to:

  • Recognise the importance behind the psychology of speed and performance
  • Differentiate between the two angles of waiting
  • List various factors that make the wait seem longer and unenjoyable
  • Describe why waiting on the web matters
  • Outline tips on optimising the psychology of wait time and improving UX even if you can't necessarily do things faster
Marie Cruz's profile'

Marie Cruz

Developer Advocate

Marie Cruz is currently a Developer Advocate at and Grafana Labs. She is a tech blogger at and an accessibility advocate. She is also an online course instructor at Ministry of Testing and Test Automation University.
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  • user-experience
  • performance
  • test-strategies