Are longer download times a good thing?

This research examines how the length of time for which a goal is interrupted affects goal pursuit, in an online context. Goal interruption duration in the form of long download time duration has been identified as a significant impediment to electronic commerce. It is believed that a faster download time is always better to motivate web users to keep surfing. We challenge this belief. In three studies, we find that, under certain circumstances, longer rather than shorter download times motivate web users to keep surfing longer. The counterintuitive pattern of effects can be explained by web users’ fit experiences (Higgins, 2000) while surfing. In particular, our findings suggest that when online surfing “feels right”, web users think that online information is right.

Source: “Valuing time: Moderate download times can improve online goal pursuit” from Journal of Consumer Psychology, Volume 19, Issue 2, April 2009, Pages 236-245

If you enjoy technology and irony I highly recommend you read Steven Johnson’s wonderful book Everything Bad is Good for You.

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